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County jobless rate climbs

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees announced Friday that Alabama’s May unemployment rate dropped 0.02 percent in May. Unfortunately, Marengo County picked them up.

The stat’s jobless rate fell to 10.8 percent, while Marengo County’s climbed to 12.7.

“I am pleased to report that our unemployment rate has shown a decline,” Surtees said. “We continue to hope that the positive signs we are seeing in the state’s economy, such as adding to the wage and salary employment numbers, and the drop in first time payments to unemployment compensation beneficiaries are indicative of a positive trend. Unfortunately, we are unsure at this time what impact the Gulf Oil Spill will have on our unemployment rate.”

Wage and salary employment increased by 13,700 over the month with the upturn resulting from gains in the following sectors: government (due to the addition of temporary census workers), leisure and hospitality, construction, professional and business services, manufacturing, other services, and natural resources and mining.

Marengo County’s jobless rate represents 982 out of work residents, up from 959 in April. The county’s jobless rate was 12.5 percent in May 2009.

The number of first payments to Unemployment Claim beneficiaries is down significantly from 2009 levels, and is approaching 2008 levels.