Jobless rate at 5-year low

Published 1:21 am Saturday, January 25, 2014

Alabama’s jobless rate was at the lowest rate since 2008 in December, and Covington County’s rate was right on par.

The last time the state’s unemployment rate was at or below 6.1 percent was in October 2008, w hen the rate was 5.9 percent.

The county’s 6.6 percent unemployment rate in December represented 1,030 people seeking jobs. That compared to 7.0 percent unemployment in the same period last year.

Approximately 18,000 active job orders were placed on the state’s JobLink site in December, and nearly 50,000 job ads were placed online statewide over various job sites, the state Department of Labor reported.

“Although we saw a slight decrease in the number of jobs in the economy in December, over the year, we saw a gain of more than 10,000 jobs,” Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said. “Our manufacturing industry continues to grow at one of the best rates in the country, adding nearly 6,000 jobs to Alabama’s economy in 2013.”

The counties with the lowest unemployment were Shelby County at 3.8 percent; Lee County at 4.7 percent; and St. Clair and Cullman counties at 4.8 percent.

The counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 14.2 percent; Bullock County at 11.6 percent; and Perry County at 11.4 percent.