The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

June 25, 2013

State jobless rate down, Limestone’s up

From staff reports

— Limestone County’s May jobless rate increased slightly compared to April, according to new figures released Friday by the state.

Limestone’s preliminary May rate was 5.5 percent, four-tenths of a percent more than April’s revised rate. The rate in May 2012 was 6 percent.

Madison and Morgan counties also saw slight increases from April to May. Madison’s rate increased from 5.2 to 5.5 percent, while Morgan’s increased from 5.5 to 5.9 percent.

The statewide rate fell one-tenth of a percent to 6.8, down from April’s rate of 6.9. The state rate in May 2012 was 7.5 percent. May’s rate represents 147,788 unemployed persons, compared to 150,401 last month and 161,848 in May of 2012.

“We are continuing to move in the right direction, and we are working every day to recruit more jobs to Alabama,” Gov. Robert Bentley said.

The governor added he had met last week with aerospace companies at the Paris Air Show, and that he had talked to them about growing Alabama’s aviation industry. He said the state is also moving forward on Accelerate Alabama, which is a plan to grow other industries.

Tom Surtees, commission of the state Department of Labor, said the past four months have shown growth in the labor force and growth in employment. Three of those months also saw reductions in unemployment.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4.3 percent, Blount and Lee counties at 5.0 percent and Autauga and Cullman counties at 5.4 percent.

The counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 14.7 percent, Perry County at 12.6 percent and Dallas County at 12.5 percent.