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County jobless rate drops

Wage and salary employment in Alabama increased 14,200 over the month of April, Alabama Department of Industrial Relations director Tom Surtees announced Friday.

These employment gains helped Alabama’s April unemployment rate remain unchanged at 11 percent for the second straight month.

Good news for the state trickled down to Marengo County, which saw a decrease in its jobless rate of more than half a percent.

The county settled at 12.6 percent for the month of April, representing 963 out of work employees.

That number is likely to climb next month as the effects of New Era Cap Company’s decision to close its Demopolis plant will begin to be felt this month. The last day for most employees was April 30.

“We’ve seen relatively little change in the rate over the past six months,” said Surtees. “While I am not yet ready to call the leveling out of the unemployment rate a trend, we are certainly cautiously optimistic that the rise in unemployment has ceased and we’ll eventually see a decline.”