Jobless rate up slightly, near average

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Covington County’s jobless rate increased by half a percentage point in May, but was slightly lower than the same month last year, despite the loss of a number of jobs in Opp in recent weeks.

In late May, some 225 workers from American Apparel found themselves out of work, at least temporarily, after the company did not get a military contract it was expecting. The workers were notified in late April.

There were 1,150 people listed on the jobless roles in Covington County in May, a number that represents 7.0 percent of the 16,394-member labor force.

That was 30 fewer than the 1,180 people without a job in May of 2012, and 81 more people than in April of 2013, when the jobless rate was 6.5 percent.

The county’s jobless rate was only slightly higher than the state’s, which fell to 6.8 percent in May, down from 6.9 percent in April. The percentage represents 147,788 unemployed workers.

“We are continuing to move in the right direction, and we are working every day to recruit more jobs to Alabama,” Governor Bentley said. “For example, I met with leaders from dozens of aerospace companies this week at the Paris Air Show, and we discussed our efforts to grow Alabama’s aviation industry and create more jobs. We’re also moving forward with our Accelerate Alabama plan, which focuses not only on aviation, but also on several other industries that are ready for growth here in Alabama.”

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4.3 percent, Blount and Lee Counties at 5.0 percent, and Autauga and Cullman Counties at 5.4 percent.

The counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 14.7 percent, Perry County at 12.6 percent, and Dallas County at 12.5 percent.