Jobless rate falls to 6.8 percentPublished 2:16pm Saturday, June 22, 2013
The state’s unemployment raised eased a bit in May to 6.8 percent, while the rate in Elmore County rose to 5.7 percent.
The county’s rate represents 2,025 residents applying for or receiving unemployment benefits in May, 97 more than in April. The rate was much improved, though, from May 2012, when the rate was 6.7 percent.
The statewide jobless rate of 6.8 percent represents 147,788 Alabamians who are out of a job, around 3,000 fewer than the previous month.
Gov. Robert Bentley lauded the news, also noting his efforts to continue the state’s economic recovery by meeting with aviation industry heavyweights and expanded programs to attract industy.
“We are continuing to move in the right direction, and we are working every day to recruit more jobs to Alabama,” Bentley said.
Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said the past four months have shown growth in the labor force and growth in employment. Three of those months had reductions in unemployment as well.
“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.
Initial claims in May of 2013 were 20,553, compared to a high of 66,249 in December of 2008. Benefit payments were $21,180,026 in May of 2013, compared to a high of $69,844,961 in June of 2009. The number of weeks compensated in May of 2013 were 103,274, compared to a high of 338,564, also in June of 2009.