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Unemployment rate falls to 6.8%

Published 4:18pm Monday, June 23, 2014

Alabama employers are hiring, according to unemployment figures released by Governor Robert Bentley on Friday.

The state’s preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May dropped one percentage point to 6.8% after standing at 6.9% in April.

May’s jobless rate was reported at 147,068, compared to 147,229 in the prior month and 138,432 in May 2013.

Morgan County’s unemployment rate was 5.9% compared to 6.0% in April and 5.7% in May 2013. Employment was reported at 52,262 compared to 51,612 in the previous month.

“Each month since I’ve been Governor, the number of jobs has increased when compared to the same month in the prior year, and initial unemployment claims continue to be the lowest in five years,” said Governor Bentley.  “While we still have a long way to go before Alabama is at full employment, we are making progress.”

May’s wage and salary employment in May increased by 4,700, rising to 1,925,000. Monthly gains were reported in leisure and hospitality (+2,200), the manufacturing sector (+1,700), the government sector  (+500) and the construction sector (+200) among others.

“We have seen increases in wage and salary employment for the past four months,” Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said. “In fact, the number of jobs supported by Alabama’s economy is at its highest point since January 2009, when the recession really began to affect the state’s employment picture.”

“Additionally, more than 26,000 job orders were placed on Joblink, Alabama’s free online jobs database in May – this is, by far, the most orders ever recorded in the site’s nine-year history,” he added.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4.4%, Lee County at 4.8% and Cullman and Baldwin Counties a 5.1%. Wilcox is the county with the highest unemployment rate at 15.6%, followed by Dallas County at 12.1% and Lowndes County at 11.9%.

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