Archived Story

Unemployment decreases slightly

Published 2:30pm Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Unemployment rates for the month of May were recently released and showed Franklin County had a decrease in unemployment from April to May.

Franklin County’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent in May, which was a slight decrease from April’s rate of 7.6 percent.

That total represents 936 local residents who are reported to be unemployed, which is a decrease from 953 people the previous month. However, it’s 21 more people than it was at the same time last year.

Statewide, the unemployment rate was reported to be slightly lower than the previous month as well.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced on Friday that Alabama’s preliminary seasonally adjusted May unemployment rate is 6.8 percent, down from April’s rate of 6.9percent.

May’s rate represents 147,068 unemployed persons, compared to 147,229 in April and 138,432 in May 2013.

“My goal is for every Alabamian who wants a job to have the opportunity to find a job, and we are heading in the right direction,” Bentley said.

“Each month since I have been governor, the number of jobs has increased when compared to the same month one year earlier, and initial unemployment claims continue to be the lowest in five years.

“While we still have a long way to go before Alabama is at full employment, we are making progress.”

Wage and salary employment increased in May by 4,700, rising to 1,925,000.

Monthly gains were seen in the leisure and hospitality sector (+2,200), the manufacturing sector (+1,700), the professional and business services sector (+1,200), the government sector (+500), and the construction sector (+200), among others.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 12,200, with gains in the leisure and hospitality sector (+4,600), the professional and business services sector (+3,700), the manufacturing sector (+2,900), and the education and health services sector (+1,900), 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 Alabama’s employment picture.”

Wage and salary employment in January 2009 measured 1,905,600.

“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 job orders ever recorded in the site’s nine year history. This, combined with the more than 50,000 jobs announced by the Alabama Department of Commerce, show that employers are hiring in Alabama.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4.4 percent, Lee County at 4.8 percent, and Cullman and Baldwin Counties at 5.1 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 15.6 percent, Dallas County at 12.1 percent, and Lowndes County at 11.9 percent.

In northwest Alabama, the reported unemployment totals are: Lauderdale County at 6.1 percent, Colbert County at 7.0 percent, Lawrence County at 7.5 percent, Marion County at 7.8 percent and Winston County at 8.4 percent.

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