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County’s jobless figures improve

Published 11:12pm Friday, September 20, 2013

MONTGOMERY — The unemployment rate in Alabama inched a little higher in August, but for Dallas County, the percentage of unemployed fell.

In figures released Friday by Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees Alabama’s preliminary August unemployment rate was 6.3 percent, which is slightly up from July’s revised rate of 6.2 percent, but significantly lower than last August’s rate of 7.5 percent.

“Alabama’s August unemployment rate doesn’t really show much change over the month,” Surtees said. “While we saw a slight increase in jobs, we didn’t really see much change in the number of people who remain unemployed. Getting these people back to work continues to be our top priority.”

Wage and salary employment, or the measure of the number of jobs in the economy, increased 3,400 in August, with gains in the professional and business services sector, the educational and health services sector and the government sector.

“Although the numbers indicate that fewer people are actively looking for jobs this month, this is somewhat expected at this time of year,” Surtees said. “It is not uncommon for the labor force to decline in August, as students leave the labor market to go to school, and those in the education field return to work. We are encouraged by the fact that nearly 20,000 more people are working this August than were last August.”

In Dallas County, August’s report showed the county with 14.1 percent unemployment. While it remains among the highest in the state, it was an improvement over July’s figure of 14.4 percent and well below the figure reported in August 2012.

Wilcox County reported the highest unemployment in August at 16 percent, while Perry County reported a 14 percent unemployment figure.

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