AL unemployment drops, jobs increase | News
By Chase Erwin - email
MONTGOMERY, AL (WAFF) -Alabama's job outlook continues on the upswing.
Governor Robert Bentley announced on Friday that Alabama's preliminary May unemployment rate is 6.8%, down from April's rate of 6.9%, and well below last year's rate of 7.5%.
"We are continuing to move in the right direction, and we are working every day to recruit more jobs to Alabama," said Governor Bentley.
The governor has high hopes for future growth in the aviation sector, following meetings with aerospace leaders at the Paris Air Show this past week. Bentley said the state is also moving forward with its ‘Accelerate Alabama' plan, which focuses on aviation and other industries he says are ready for growth in Alabama.
Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said the past four months have shown growth in the labor force and growth in employment, as well as reductions in unemployment.
"Our unemployment performance measures are at five-year lows: first time filers, the amount being paid in benefit payments, and the number of weeks compensated are all at their lowest points in years," Surtees said.
First-time claims in May 2013 were just over 20,000, compared to the all-time high of 66,249 back in December of 2008. Benefit payouts were also down: $21.18 million in payouts compared to an all-time high of $69.84 million in June 2009.
The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.3%, Blout and Lee Counties with 5.0% each, and Autauga and Cullman Counties at 5.4% apiece.
The counties with highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 14.7%, Perry County at 12.6%, and Dallas County at 12.5%.
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