Unemployed rates below six percent

Published 4:00 am Saturday, April 18, 2015

At 5.7 percent, Alabama’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since July 2008.

The rate reported this week by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley includes seasonal adjustments, which account for certain trends in the labor force, such as increased hiring during the holiday season or the influx of students into the working world after springtime graduations.

The March unemployment rate did not lower much from February, which stood at 5.8 percent, but Bentley said this marked the 16th consecutive month that the unemployment rate had not increased.

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“We continue to see decreases in Alabama’s unemployment rate, and increases in both of our employment measures, which is a testament to the strong economic development efforts we have prioritized,” Bentley said. “We have gone 16 months with no increase in our unemployment rate.”

As of March 2015, the state was reporting approximately 2,021,806 Alabamians who are currently employed, which Bentley said was a true testament of the hardworking nature of Alabama residents.

“This steady progress is further evidence that, as far as employment indicators go, Alabama has regained its pre-recession standing,” Bentley said. “My priority as Governor remains job creation, and I will continue my effort until every Alabamian who wants a job has the opportunity to have one.”

Although down from last year’s percentage of 18.6, Wilcox County is still reporting the highest unemployment rate for the state at 13.6 percent. Shelby County is reporting the lowest unemployment rate for the state 3.9 percent with Lee County following closely behind at 4.7 percent. Elmore, St. Clair and Autauga County all weighed in at 4.9 percent.

“Every county in Alabama currently has a lower unemployment rate than they did a year ago,” said Fitzgerald Washington, Alabama Labor Commissioner. “Wilcox County, despite traditionally having one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, has seen a five percentage point decrease in its rate over the year.  That’s great news.”