Jobless rate drops

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The unemployment rate in Pike County plunged half a percentage point from February to March according to numbers released Friday by the Alabama Department of Labor.

The data shows that just 5.5 percent of Pike County residents in the workforce were unemployed compared to 6 percent in February.

The drop is consistent with a statewide decrease of 0.4 percentage points , bringing the rate to 5.8 percent.

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Kathy Sauer said the numbers show a growth in the county’s economy.

“This is good news for Pike County,” Sauer said. “We seem to be on pace with surrounding counties. We’re a little bit under the state rate, which is good for all of us.”

Sauer said the numbers reflect that business is prospering and more people are finding employment.

The numbers show that the local workforce expanded by 20 people in March and 94 more people were employed than in February.

Sauer said the employment boon boosts the economy twofold as it brings more shopping and investment into the community.

“As unemployment moves downward, our standard of living improves,” Sauer said.

In addition to the hard numbers, Sauer said there are also visible signs around the county that show economic progress.

“What I see in Troy there’s an increase in building,” Sauer said. “If you drive around you see construction, which to me is a sign of economic development. Someone isn’t going to build a building and build apartments unless the economy is forecasted to grow.”