County’s unemployment rate rises in June

Published 10:21 pm Friday, July 18, 2014

Pike County showed a 1.3 percent increase in unemployment for the month of June, but former mayor Jimmy Lunsford said that figure is nothing to worry about.

“I think the university may skew the numbers because people are not teaching during the summer,” said Lunsford, who now works with the Pike County Economic Development Corporation.

The county’s preliminary June unemployment rate is 7.3 percent, which is 1.3 percent higher than it was in May and .1 percent lower than it was in June 2013. June’s rate represents 1,116 unemployed people, compared to 912 in May, a difference of 204 people.

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“I’m very pleased,” said Lunsford. “We have been consistently low, one of the lowest counties in the state.”

At one time, Pike County had the third lowest unemployment rate in the state and has consistently been in the top 10, according to Lunsford. This month’s rate placed the county in the top 25 counties.

The state as a whole had an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent in June, which is unchanged from May’s rate. June’s rate represents 144,991 unemployed persons, compared to 146,976 in May, a decrease of 1,985 persons.

“For Alabamians who want a job, we remain focused on helping them find and keep a job,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “Just this week, we were able to announce three new projects resulting in hundreds of well-paying jobs for Alabamians. These jobs are a sign that existing companies are confident in the Alabama economy.”

Alabama’s economy generated approximately 5,000 more jobs when compared to Alabama’s wage and salary employment in June 2013. Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 5,200, with gains in the manufacturing sector (+3,900), the leisure and hospitality sector (+2,700), the professional and business services sector (+2,300), and the education and health services sector (+900), among others. Monthly gains were seen in the manufacturing sector (+2,600), the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+800) and the professional and business services sector (+600), among others.

JobLink (, Alabama’s free online jobs database, saw yet another record-breaking month, as active job orders reached 27,268, up significantly from the 14,755 job orders recorded in June of last year. Truck drivers, retail supervisors and registered nurses continue to account for the most in-demand jobs advertised online, according to the Help Wanted Online (HWOL) data.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 5.0 percent, Baldwin and Cullman counties at 5.7 percent, and Lee and Cherokee counties at 5.9 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 17.2 percent, Perry County at 14.8 percent and Dallas County at 14.3 percent.