Jobless rate falls in state, county

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 17, 2011

Covington County’s unemployment rate fell almost a full percentage point in November, and the state’s rate fell half a percentage point in the same time period, state officials announced Friday.

In November, Covington County’s rate was 8.0 percent, down from 8.9 percent in the previous month, and 8.9 percent in the same month last year.

On the sate level, the rate fell to 8.7 percent, decreasing from 9.3 percent in October and 9.1 percent in November of last year.

“Everyday we work hard to create jobs and put Alabamians back to work. That is exactly what is happening now in our state,” Gov. Robert Bentley said. “November’s drop in the unemployment rate shows positive momentum needed at a time when our economy is struggling. We still have a long way to go before we reach full employment, but another month with a decrease in unemployment is certainly a good sign our economy is improving.”

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees added that recent unemployment rate changes are indicative of a new positive trend.

“For the past several months, we’ve seen our unemployment rate slowly decrease,” said Tom Surtees. “We’re gaining jobs in Alabama –over 38,000 since January alone – and that’s always welcome news.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Shelby County at 5.4 percent, Coffee County at 6.2 percent, and Pike County at 6.6 percent.

Covington County’s other neighbors had rates of 7.5 percent in Geneva County;7.7 percent in Crenshaw County; 11.0 percent in Butler County; 12.9 percent in Conecuh County and 9.3 percent in Escambia County.

–Michele Gerlach