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Unemployment rate rises in May

Published 3:45pm Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Morgan County’s unemployment rate has risen to 5.9 percent in May, an increase of .4 percent from April.

However, the rate is an improvement from this time last year when 7 percent of the workforce was unemployed in May 2012, according to a report from the Alabama Department of Labor.

Only 3,355 people in Morgan County were unemployed last month compared to the 53,630 employed people. May 2012 showed 3,988 unemployed workers and only 52,704 employed workers.

The unemployment rate has dropped even though the civilian labor force grew from 56,692 in May 2012 to 56,985 last month.

The Decatur metropolitan area currently has an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent compared to the Huntsville area 5.5 percent.

Alabama’s total unemployment rate is 6.8 percent, well below last year’s rate of 7.5 percent. Alabama currently has 136,301 unemployed workers in the state compared to the 153,665 unemployed workers it had last May. The state’s civilian labor force also grew from 2,159,390 last May to 2,181,316 this May.

Only 15 of the 66 other counties in the state have a lower unemployment rate than Morgan County. Shelby County has the lowest unemployment rate with 4.3 percent. Wilcox County has the highest unemployment rate with 14.7 percent.

Most of the counties surrounding Morgan County have similar unemployment rates: Marshall County, 6.0 percent; Madison County, 5.5 percent and Limestone County, 5.5 percent. Lawrence County and Winston County have higher unemployment rates with 7.3 percent and 9.2 percent respectively.

The state of Alabama saw the most job growth in the automotive manufacturing industry. In May 2012, the Alabama automotive parts manufacturing industry employed about 17,700 people compared to last month’s 21,200 estimated workers in the same industry. This is a 19.77 percent increase in automotive parts manufacturing workers.

“We are continuing to move in the right direction, and we are working every day to recruit more jobs to Alabama,” Gov. Robert Bentley said in a press release.

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