Dallas County jobless rate falls to 8.1 percent

Published 5:14 pm Monday, May 25, 2015

Dallas County’s unemployment rate continued to fall in April.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley declared the state’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted April unemployment rate at 5.8 percent on Friday, which is up a notch from April’s 5.7 percent.

However, the numbers were better in Dallas County, which saw its unemployment rate drop from 8.7 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April.

The county has also seen a steep decline over the last year. In March 2014, the unemployment rate in Dallas County was 10.3 percent.

“Alabama’s April unemployment has some positive numbers about the economy,” Bentley said. “The number of people in the labor force is up. The number of people employed is up, and wage and salary employment is up, and the number of job orders posted on JobLink is up. Our economic development efforts will continue until every Alabamian who wants a job has the opportunity to find one.”

The Civilian Labor Force increased in April by 12,214 and the number of people counted as employed increased by 10,019.

Dallas County’s Civilian Labor Force numbers indicated a boost, as well.

April’s numbers show the county with 15,816 jobs in the force, which is up from 15,648 in March.

The number of people employed in Dallas County also jumped to 14,540 in April, which is up from 14,292 in March.

Employment is best measured by wage and salary numbers, Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said.

“We are continuing to increase the number of jobs our economy supports, getting closer and closer to reaching the two million mark, which is how many jobs the economy supported prior to the recession,” Washington said.

Gains were noticed in the leisure and hospitality sector, the professional and business services sector, the education and health services sector, the government sector and the construction sector.

Shelby, Lee, Elmore and Autauga counties have the lowest unemployment rates in the state.

Wilcox County, at 13.8 percent, continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the state. Clarke (10.8 percent) and Lowndes (10.3 percent) continues have the second and third highest.