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County jobless rate jumps

Marengo County’s jobless rate skyrocketed in June, jumping nearly a percent and a half from May.

The county’s rate of 14 percent is well higher than the May rate of 12.6 and higher than the 13.2 percent posted in June 2010.

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees announced Friday that Alabama’s June 2011 unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent, up from May’s rate of 9.6 and the 9.3 percent recorded a year ago.

June’s rate represents 213,975 unemployed persons, compared to 206,578 last month and 197,780 in June 2010. In the county, 1105 residents are currently without work compared to 970 in May and 1068 in June last year.

“While we are disappointed to report any increase in our seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, we keep in mind the contributing factors that led us here,” Surtees said.

“We still have hundreds of Alabamians unemployed as a direct result of the tornadoes of last April and the national unemployment rate also continues to rise. On the positive side, we have observed an uptick in the number of discouraged workers re-entering the job market in their employment search. There are over 33,000 more Alabamians working in June than in January, but during this same period over 50,000 came into the workforce.”

Even with an increase of 1.4 percent, Marengo County’s jobless rate remains one of the lowest in the region.

Only Hale County, who posted an unemployment rate of 12.7 percent, is lower. Choctaw County last posted a mark of 14 percent. Wilcox County’s 23.4 percent is the highest in the state. Shelby County’s 7.7 percent is the lowest.