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State, county unemployment rate continues to decline

Published 2:01pm Saturday, August 17, 2013

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally-adjusted unemployment figures for July were announced Friday by Gov. Robert Bentley. The state’s jobless rate decreased to 6.3 percent from last month’s 6.5 percent figure. Those numbers are significantly below the state’s July 2012 rate of 7.5 percent.
This July’s rate represents 135,089 unemployed, compared to 140,024 in June 2013 and 163,932 in July 2012. The last time unemployment was at or below 6.3 percent was October 2008’s 5.9 percent.
“While we are encouraged to see another drop in our unemployment rate, we need to remember there is still a lot of work to be done,” said Bentley. “We will continue to recruit more jobs.
“We will continue to show how Alabama is a great place to do business. We will encourage more companies to build here and expand and hire more people. And we will continue these efforts until everyone who wants a job is able to find one.”
Elmore County’s jobless rate for July was 5.7 percent, nearly 2 percent lower than the July 2012 figure of 7.5 percent. According to the Department of Labor, 2,001 county residents received or applied for unemployment compensation in July.
“Employers are hiring in Alabama,” said Tom Surtees, Alabama Department of Labor commissioner.
Currently, more than 15,000 jobs are available on JobLink, Alabama’s free online jobs database (joblink.alabama.gov). Record numbers of jobs continue to be posted to the database. The average monthly job count is consistently 1,000 more than at the same time last year.
Help Wanted Online (HWOL) data, which includes jobs on JobLink and other online sources, counts more than 51,000 total job ads in Alabama. The professions with the most jobs advertised online, as reflected by HWOL, are registered nursing and truck driving, with average hourly wages of $26.37 and $17.99 respectively. In July, there were 2,277 ads for registered nurses and 2,852 for truck drivers
“The most in-demand jobs posted – meaning jobs available now – are relatively high-paying jobs that translate into lifelong careers,” said Surtees. “Additionally, we know that more jobs are coming, as more companies have announced that they are locating or expanding in Alabama.”
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates in July were Shelby at 4.2 percent, Baldwin at 5.3 percent and Cullman at 5.4 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox at 16.3 percent, Perry at 14.7 percent and Dallas at 14.4 percent.
July unemployment rates for counties adjacent to Elmore are: Chilton, 5.5 percent; Autauga, 5.6 percent; Montgomery, 7.2 percent; Coosa, 8.6 percent; Tallapoosa, 8.9 percent; and Macon, 9.5 percent.

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