State’s jobless rate declines
by Daniel Gaddy
Nov 17, 2012 | 1242 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gov. Robert Bentley on Friday announced that Alabama’s preliminary October unemployment rate is 8.1 percent, down from September’s revised rate of 8.2 percent and below last October’s rate of 8.5 percent.

Unemployment grew for Walker and Winston counties, however.

Walker County’s rate increased from 7.8 percent for September to 8 percent for October. That .2 percent equates to 119 residents receiving jobless benefits, from 2,095 to 2,214. Last October, Walker County’s unemployment rate was 8.2 percent.

Winston County’s rate increased from 9.8 percent for September to 10.4 percent for October. That .6 percent means 62 more residents out of work, from 899 to 961. Last October, Winston County’s unemployment rate was 11.8 percent.

Statewide, the October 2012 rate represents 175,013 unemployed persons, down from 177,632 last month and 186,251 in October 2011.

The civilian labor force increased from 2,154,431 in September to 2,160,627 in October. The number of employed individuals increased from 1,976,799 to 1,985,614 and the number of unemployed individuals decreased from 177,632 to 175,013.

“These numbers show more Alabamians have jobs, and that’s an encouraging sign we’re headed in the right direction. Our efforts to attract more jobs for people across the state will continue,” Gov. Robert Bentley said in a press release. “The recent approval of Amendment 2 will help us in our efforts to bring in new companies and encourage existing companies to expand and hire more people.”

“This month, everything worked out the way we wish it would always work out,” Alabama Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said. “Our labor force grew, the number of Alabamians working increased, and the number of those unemployed decreased. We hope to continue seeing these positive signs in the future.”

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Shelby County at 5.4 percent, Coffee County at 6.6 percent, Madison County at 6.6 percent, Lee County at 6.7 percent, and St. Clair County at 6.7 percent. The counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox County at 17.6 percent, Bullock County at 16.2 percent, and Dallas County at 14.8 percent.