Governor Robert Bentley on Friday announced that Alabama's preliminary April unemployment rate is 6.9%, down from last month's 7.2% and below the 7.4% recorded in April of 2012. April's rate represents 150,503 unemployed persons, compared to 155,011 last month and 158,749 in April 2012.
"The labor force increased, meaning more people are regaining confidence in the job market," Governor Bentley said. "Also, the number of people employed increased, meaning more people have jobs, and the number of people who are unemployed decreased. I am encouraged to see these improvements, and I will continue my efforts to recruit more jobs until everyone who needs a job is able to find one."
The number of people in the civilian labor force increased in April to 2,177,865, up from 2,164,537 last month and up from 2,157,873 in April 2012. The number of people employed increased to 2,027,362, up from 2,009,526 last month and 1,999,124 last year. The number of people unemployed dropped to 150,503 from 155,011 last month and 158,749 last year.
"Like last month, the positives continued to increase for Alabama's counties. All of the counties saw drops in their rates, including a significant drop of 2.4 percentage points in Lowndes County's rate," said Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees. "In addition, we saw an increase of nearly 10,000 jobs in the state, with some industries that had been previously lagging showing some real improvement, like construction."
Wage and salary employment, totaling 1,898,100 in April, increased 9,700 over the month. Industries gaining jobs were leisure and hospitality (+7,100), construction (+2,200), and professional and business services (+1,400), among others.
The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4.0%, Lee County at 4.9% and Blount County at 5.0%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 14.8%, Perry County at 11.7% and Dallas County at 11.4%.