Archived Story

State unemployment falls while county rate rises

Published 11:45am Friday, July 19, 2013

Alabama’s state unemployment rate decreased to 6.5 percent in June, one of its lowest levels in nearly five years, but the jobless rate increased in Morgan County by nearly half of a percentage point during June.

Morgan County’s rate increased from 5.9 percent in May to 6.3 percent in June. That was an increase of 250 unemployed workers to 3,595 while the number of employed workers was virtually unchanged between the two months.

The reason for that the county rate increased while the state rate decreased is because the state rate is seasonally adjusted.

“These summer months always bring an influx of people looking for summer jobs or new graduates looking for full-time jobs. The May to June numbers have been ‘seasonally adjusted’ to allow for those expected increases,” Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said in a statement. ”Basically, the adjustment removes any spikes when seasonal factors occur and allows us to have a more accurate picture of employment in Alabama.”

Wage and salary employment increased in June by 3,700. Monthly gains occurred in leisure and hospitality (+4,600), construction (+1,800) and trade, transportation, and utilities (+800), among other sectors.

The number of initial unemployment compensation claims is down by 14.0%. In June, 17,680 initial claims were filed, compared to 20,553 in the previous month and 20,588 last year.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4.5 percent, Cullman County at 5.6 percent and Limestone and Baldwin Counties at 5.7 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 15.8 percent, Perry County at 14.0 percent and Dallas County at 13.4 percent.

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