Jobless rate keeps falling

Published 9:03 am Friday, May 18, 2012

The jobless rate continues to drop in Marengo County, falling .7 points in the past month to settle at 8.6 percent for the month of April.

Governor Robert Bentley on Friday announced that Alabama’s preliminary April unemployment rate is 7.2 percent, down from March’s revised rate of 7.4.  April’s rate represents 154,307 unemployed persons, down from 157,494 last month and 203,520 in April 2011.

The Marengo County figure represents 651 out of work residents, down from 713 the month before.

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“Alabama hasn’t seen an unemployment rate this low since the start of the recession,” Bentley said.  “I think we are getting to a point where we are seeing many areas of the economy improving.  For example, the automotive base in Alabama is increasingly strong.  Just yesterday, we announced Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama will be expanding its production facility in Huntsville.  We have also seen many other exciting developments across the state that are leading to new jobs for Alabamians.  We will continue our job creation efforts with the goal that anyone who wants a job is able to find one.”

The last time Alabama’s unemployment rate was at or below 7.2 percent was in November of 2008. Marengo County’s 8.6 percent posted in April is significantly lower than the 11.3 percent recorded in April 2011.

Statewide, the news may continue to improve.

“The Gulf Coast and other areas of our state are gearing up for what looks to be a record year for tourism, and that’s adding jobs.  Also, our automotive manufacturing and auto supplier industries are nearing full employment, which is contributing significantly to our decline in unemployment,” said Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees.

Preliminary figures show that the number of employees in the Motor Vehicles Parts Manufacturing industry has increased by 13.1 percent over the past year.  The number of employees in the Motor Vehicle Manufacturing industry has increased by 3.96 percent.  Employment in the Leisure and Hospitality industry has increased by 3.03 percent over the last month, and 3.15 percent over the last year.