Unemployment rate ticks up in May

Published 9:39 pm Saturday, June 18, 2016

Unemployment rose in Dallas County from April to May but was still lower than this time last year.

The jobless rate in Dallas County rose from 8.3 percent to 9.2 percent. The rate was 9.7 percent in May 2015.

The current number represents 1,449 people looking for work in Dallas County, which was down from 1,518 people last year.

The total employment — number of people working — also grew over last month and last year. Through May, 14,218 people were working in Dallas County, compared to 14,201 in April and 14,188 this time last year.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley released statewide unemployment figures last week. Across Alabama, season unemployment held steady at 6.1 percent.

“These numbers show that we are continuing to see job growth in Alabama,” Bentley said. “We are working hard every day to put Alabamians back to work. Though this month’s percentage remains the same, more people are working today than a month ago and more people are looking for work. This is a sign that the economy is on the right track, as we continue to work diligently to bring more jobs to Alabama.”

Unemployment increased in all of Alabama’s 67 counties, which is common during the summer as students and part-time school staff enter the workforce. The non-seasonally adjusted statewide rate is 5.7 percent.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 20,000 across Alabama, with gains in the professional and business services sector (+7,300), the education and health services sector (+5,200), and the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+4,600), among others.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rate are Shelby County at 4.2 percent, Elmore County at 4.8 percent and Cherokee County at 4.9 percent.

Counties with the high unemployment rate are Wilcox County at 13.5 percent, Lowndes County at 10.7 percent and Clarke County at 10.6 percent.

Of major cities in Alabama, Selma had the highest jobless rate at 10.3 percent, followed by Prichard at 9.1 percent and Bessemer at 8.4 percent.

Vestavia Hills at 3.6 percent and Homewood at 3.7 percent had the lowest jobless rate among cities.