Local jobless rate drops

Published 10:57 pm Friday, May 18, 2012

Pike County’s April unemployment numbers are reflective of the continued state decline.

For the ninth straight month, Alabama’s unemployment rate has dropped and is now 7.2 percent for April. That’s down from 7.4 percent in March.

Gov. Robert Bentley said on Friday that Alabama’s rate hasn’t been this low since November 2008 and is below the national rate of 8.1 percent.

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Pike County is a full percent lower than the state with a 6.2 percent unemployment rate for April. March numbers showed a rate of 6.9.

“It’s been a slow decline,” said Janice Grayson, office manager for the Troy location of the Alabama Career Center. “This time last year it was 7.3.”

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates for April are Shelby at 4.6 percent; Coffee at 5.3 percent; and Lee and Limestone both at 5.6 percent.

Wilcox, Lowndes and Dallas counties were among the counties with the highest rates at more than 12 percent each. Ten counties reported unemployment rates of 10.3 percent and above. Pike County was among 42 counties with rates below 7.9 percent.

State Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said hiring in the automotive and tourism sectors have aided in the reduction of the state’s unemployment rates.