County unemployment dips below 6 percent

Published 4:04pm Saturday, May 17, 2014

Elmore County’s jobless rate dropped from 6.5 percent in March to 5.8 percent n April. That decreased translates to 283 fewer people out of work in the county –  2,008 in April compared to 2,291 in March. Those rates are not seasonally adjusted.

The statewide unemployment rate (also not seasonally adjusted) dropped from 6.9 percent in March to 6.2 percent in April, representing 131,886 people on the jobless rolls.

But Alabama’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 6.7 percent in March to 6.9 percent in April. Seasonally adjusted rates are not available for counties. Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees released the data Friday.

“Seasonal adjustment certainly played a role in this month’s unemployment rate increase,” said Surtees. “The state data did not meet seasonal expectations, while at the same time only one of Alabama’s 67 counties showed an increase in their rate this month.

“However, this is an estimate and will probably be revised as the seasonal factors become more quantifiable as the year goes on.”

Elmore County ranked as 14th lowest in Alabama at 5.8 percent. April rates for counties adjacent to Elmore were Autauga at 5.4 percent, Chilton at 5.6 percent, Montgomery at 6.8 percent, Tallapoosa at 8 percent, Coosa at 7.6 percent and Macon at 8.2 percent.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby at 4.2 percent, Lee at 4.9 percent and Cullman at 5.1 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox at 15.5 percent, Greene at 12.7 percent and Perry at 11.9 percent.

“Other facts are more promising: there is a significant increase, both over the month and over the year, in the number of jobs employers are reporting.”

, we are registering record numbers of job orders on JobLink, online job ads are up over 17 percent and initial unemployment compensation claims and payments remain at five year lows,” said Surtees. “All of these things point to a much healthier job market than we have seen in some time.”

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