Alabama goes against trend on unemployment


For the second month, Alabama is the only state with an unemployment rate higher than a year ago.

The bad economic news comes as Gov. Robert Bentley seeks a second term after being elected in 2010 on a job creation platform.

Bentley said nearly 60,000 new jobs have been announced since he became governor, and Alabama is poised for better days when plants come on line like Airbus in Mobile, Golden Dragon Copper Tubing in Wilcox County and Remington in Huntsville. He plans to be in Opelika on Wednesday for the announcement of a company expansion. He said it takes about three years from the time a company announces a project in Alabama and it begins hiring workers.

“We are putting in place the things that will help us in the future,” he said in an interview Monday evening.

His Democratic opponent, former U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith of Huntsville, said Tuesday, “We’ve got a chief executive who doesn’t realize the state is going backward and not forward.”

On Friday, the governor announced that Alabama’s unemployment rate had risen in July to 7.0 percent. That was up from 6.5 percent a year earlier. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Monday that Alabama was the only state with a July unemployment rate higher than a year ago.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.