County jobless rate soars nearly 2 points

Published 2:47 am Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees announced Friday that June’s unemployment rate dropped to 10.3 percent, down from May’s revised rate of 10.7 percent.

The news was nowhere near as bright for Marengo County as the local rate rocketed nearly 2 percent thanks in large part to the final wave of layoff at Demopolis’ New Era Cap Co. plant. Marengo County’s jobless rate, 14.3 percent, is four points higher than the state average and represents 1132 residents out of work – an increase of 159 from May.

“This is the first significant drop in our unemployment rate that we’ve experienced for some time,” said Surtees.  “We are certainly glad to see it.  However, the more than two  hundred thousand unemployed Alabamians probably don’t feel this way.  I’d like to encourage those who are unemployed to visit one of our Career Centers across the state to receive assistance in finding a new job or receiving technical or educational training.”

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June’s rate marks the first time since August 2007 that the seasonally adjusted rate is not higher than the previous year’s rate.  The rate in June 2009 was also 10.3 percent. This rate represents 215,813 unemployed persons, compared to 225,182 in May.

June’s wage and salary employment declined by 3,500, with the majority of the loss resulting from seasonal losses in government and education and health services.