Unemployment rate continues to drop in Pike Co.

Published 11:00 pm Friday, December 21, 2012

Pike County’s preliminary November unemployment rate is 6.7 percent, down from October’s rate of 7.9 percent and below the November 2011 rate of 6.8 percent, according to the Alabama Department of Labor.

The trend echoes the state numbers with Alabama’s unemployment rate coming in at 7.5 percent. October’s rate was 8.1 percent and last November’s rate was 8.3 percent.

“We’re going to continue on the same path of working hard every day to recruit and attract more jobs for this state,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “The unemployment rate can fluctuate given the time of year. We are encouraged that the overall trend shows a decreasing unemployment rate, and I will continue my efforts to create more jobs until everyone who wants a job is able to find one.”

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Statewide, retail trade employment increased by 3,700 in November, with the bulk of that increase coming from hires made by general merchandise and department stores.

Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said that November’s rate indicates that Alabama’s employers are expecting a strong holiday season.

“The increase in retail hiring means that many people have jobs this Christmas that may otherwise have not,” Surtees said. “Even if some of the jobs are temporary, that still means that thousands of Alabamians will be able to provide for their families during the holiday season.”

Sixty-six of 67 counties experienced a drop in unemployment rate for November.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4.6%, Lee County and Madison County at 5.6%, and St. Clair County, Coffee County, Blount County, and Limestone County at 5.7%. The counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 15.9%, Bullock County at 14.1%, and Dallas County at 13.2%.

While Pike County’s unemployment number has gone down, so has its civilian labor force. The Alabama Department of Labor reported Pike County had 176 fewer workers in November than in October, and 796 fewer than the same time last year.