Jobless rate holds steady

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 21, 2011

Numbers released Friday by the state Department of Industrial Relations show Covington County’s jobless rate is holding steady at 8.5 percent for April.

That’s nearly 1 percent lower than the state’s unemployment rate of 9.3 percent.

April’s rate represents 1,384 unemployed persons in Covington County, which are two claims fewer than were filed in March.

Covington County’s rate was lower than the rates of most of its neighbors.

Coffee County had the second-lowest unemployment rate in the state at 7 percent. Geneva County recorded an 8.4 percent rate; Escambia County’s was 10.5; Conecuh County’s was 15.1; Butler County’s was 10.9; and Crenshaw County’s was 8.7 percent.

Wilcox County had the highest unemployment rate at 20.9 percent.

The local unemployment number could continue to drop after a recent announcement by Andalusia officials that a new major retailer could bring 30-35 jobs to the area in the coming months.