North Alabama job losses affected state unemployment numbers

Alabama's unemployment rate rose, the only state to do so. (Source: MGN Online)
Alabama's unemployment rate rose, the only state to do so. (Source: MGN Online)

MORGAN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - The unemployment rate for almost every state in the U.S. went down from July of 2013 to July of this year.

The lone exception is Alabama. The state's unemployment rate went from 6.5 to 7 percent over the past year, while the nation's rate dropped from 7.3 to 6.2 percent.

It's a trickle down effect, according to the CEO of the Morgan County Economic Development Association, Jeremy Nails. When jobs here and in surrounding counties are fewer, he said, it affects all of North Alabama.

Lawrence County took a huge hit by the unexpected closing of International Paper. But Morgan County lost a lot of jobs too. Around 250 IP workers were Morgan County residents.

Morgan County's unemployment rate rose by 20 percent from July of last year to July of this year. Jeremy Nails said businesses that closed in Colbert County affected Morgan County's unemployment rate too.

Nails added that he believes this is a temporary lull, with several Morgan County businesses coming in or expanding, and with companies like Remington set to hire, the unemployment rate will get better.

"You still have a large number of companies that have announced that have not begun the hiring process in North Alabama," said Nails. "Carpenter continues to hire. Remington has yet to do all of its hiring. You have other companies here in Decatur that are looking at expansion opportunities."

From July 2013 to July 2014, the unemployment rate rose to 7.5 percent in Morgan County, went up from 5.6 to 6.7 percent in Limestone County, rose from 5.8 to 6.7 percent in Madison County, and rose from 7.4 to 9.8 in Lawrence County.

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