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County, state jobless rates drop

Published 11:06am Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Alabama’s preliminary November unemployment rate was announced Friday by Gov. Robert Bentley. The month’s seasonally-adjusted rate is 6.2 percent, a decrease from October’s 6.4 percent.

Bentley said the numbers are encouraging for Alabamians seeking employment.

“Every Alabama county has a decrease in their unemployment rate for November, and that is a sign that Alabamians are getting back to work in both rural and urban areas of Alabama,” he said. “There is still much work left to be done until Alabama reaches full employment, and our efforts to recruit more jobs will continue.”

November’s rate represents 132,381 unemployed persons, compared to 137,160 in October and 148,956 in November 2012.

Elmore County fared better than the state average in November, ranked as 17th lowest in Alabama at 5.3 percent.

November rates for counties adjacent to Elmore were Chilton at 4.9 percent, Autauga at 4.9 percent, Montgomery at 6.1 percent, Tallapoosa at 6.8 percent, Coosa at 7.7 percent and Macon at 7.6 percent

November marked the third month this year that unemployment fell to 6.2 percent. The last time the unemployment rate was below 6.2 percent was in October 2008, when the rate was 5.9 percent.

“Not surprisingly, it appears as though seasonal hiring, especially in retail establishments, helped to lower our unemployment rate,” said Alabama Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby at 3.6 percent, Lee at 4.5 percent and Cullman, St. Clair and Cherokee all at 4.7 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox at 13.9 percent, Bullock at 11.9 percent and Perry and Dallas both at 11.1 percent.

“The decline in the county unemployment rates, which range from at least a half a percentage point to nearly two, may present a clearer picture of what is actually going on throughout Alabama  as the county data are not seasonally adjusted,” Surtees said.

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