State, county unemployment numbers fall in November

Published 9:40pm Friday, December 21, 2012

MONTGOMERY — Unemployment in Dallas County continued to inch lower in November.

According to information released Friday, November’s unemployment rate for Dallas County was 13.2 percent — lower than it was in October (14.7 percent) and even lower than last November (14.6 percent).

Overall, Alabama’s unemployment rate fell in November to 7.5 percent, down from October and down from last November.

“We’re going to continue on the same path of working hard every day to recruit and attract more jobs for this state,” Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said. “The unemployment rate can fluctuate given the time of year. We are encouraged that the overall trend shows a decreasing unemployment rate, and I will continue my efforts to create more jobs until everyone who wants a job is able to find one.”

Alabama’s November 2012 unemployment rate is also below the national rate of 7.7 percent. The state’s November rate represents 162,182 unemployed persons, compared to 174,867 in October and 180,003 in November 2011.

“November’s rate indicates that Alabama’s employers are expecting a strong holiday season,” said Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees. “The increase in retail hiring means that many people have jobs this Christmas that may otherwise have not. Even if some of the jobs are temporary, that still means that thousands of Alabamians will be able to provide for their families during the holiday season.”

Dallas County was not the only Black Belt county to see their unemployment figures improve in November.

Lowndes, Perry and Wilcox counties saw their November figures fall from October and from last year.

Lowndes County reported 12.5 percent unemployment rate, while Perry County’s figure came in at 12.3 percent.

Wilcox County, while still one of the highest figures in Alabama, saw it’s unemployment number drop heavily in November, coming in at 15.9 percent. In October, Wilcox’s unemployment figure was 17.5 percent.

Retail trade employment increased by 3,700 in November, with the bulk of that increase coming from hiring in general merchandise and department stores.

“We also continue to see positive indicators in other areas,” Surtees said. “We are consistently seeing initial claims and benefits payments at pre-recession levels, and record numbers of active job orders on www.joblink.alabama.gov. Sixty-six of 67 counties experienced a drop in their unemployment rate this month.”

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby County (4.6 percent), Lee County and Madison County (5.6 percent) and St. Clair County, Coffee County, Blount County, and Limestone County at 5.7 percent.

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