Pike County unemployment numbers rise

Published 11:00 pm Friday, June 21, 2013

The state May unemployment rate is down, but the Pike County unemployment rate has increased from April to May, according to preliminary numbers released by the Alabama Department of Labor.

State numbers show a 6.8 percent May unemployment rate, less than April’s 6.9 percent and last May’s 7.5 percent.

For Pike County, May’s unemployment rate was 6.2 percent. That’s up from April’s 5.9 percent, but down from last May’s 6.4 percent.

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The numbers released Friday reveal that there were 956 unemployed people in the county in May, up from April’s number of 906. In May of last year, 1,003 people in the county were unemployed.

Although the county’s unemployment rate has slightly increased, statewide unemployment numbers continue to show growth in Alabama’s labor force and the number of people employed.

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

Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said the last four months are a testament to the growth in labor force statewide.

“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.

Statewide, wage and salary employment increased in May by 7,000. The largest increase was in the leisure and hospitality industry, but there were also increases in professional and business services, construction, trade, transportation and utilities, manufacturing, and financial activities.

According to numbers released Friday, the counties with the lowest employment rates in the state are Shelby County at 4.3 percent, Blount and Lee counties at 5 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.

Pike County is one of 44 counties that fall below 7.7 percent unemployment. There are 12 counties that range between 7.8 percent and 9.6 percent and 10 counties that are at 9.7 percent or above.