Alabama unemployment rate at 6.1 percent, unchanged in June


The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Alabama remains at 6.1 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced the findings this afternoon, and offered his thoughts on the state’s slow, though consistent, economic recovery.

“Even though our unemployment rate remained unchanged this month, we are pleased that since January 2011, our month over month growth in wage and salary employment, a trend that began in January 2011, continues,” Bentley said in a prepared statement.

“Today, there are almost 75,000 more jobs in Alabama than there were in June 2011. This is good news for Alabamians who are looking to find a job.”

The figures were particularly bright in Shelby County, where the rate is as low as 4.6 percent of the workforce looking for a job. Wilcox County continues to bear the worst of the economic downtown, as unemployment there was recorded at more at 16.1 percent in June.

The governor’s office touted gains in a handful of key staple sectors of the economy in particular.

“Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 23,600 to 1,952,800, with gains in the education and health services sector (+6,800), the leisure and hospitality sector (+4,900), and the construction sector (+4,000), among others,” read a Friday announcement.

Summer poses additional problems for policymakers seeking to decrease joblessness, added Fitzgerald Washington, the state’s Labor Commissioner.

“The June unemployment rate continues to reflect what we saw last month,” Washington said. “It is not uncommon to see unemployment rise or remain steady during the summer months, usually as a result of an increase in the labor force as students and graduates search for work, and teachers and other school employees are not employed.”

The announcement included the silver lining amid mixed economic news that all 67 of Alabama’s counties have lower rates of unemployment than usual at this time of year.



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