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Photo by: Construction jobs in Alabama rose in June as the state’s unemployment rate declined.

Alabama unemployment rate declines in June as labor force expands

MONTGOMERY, Alabama – Alabama’s unemployment rate moved lower in June as the state’s labor force continues to grow from the levels of a year ago. Jobs were gained in sectors including construction and transportation.

Governor Robert Bentley today announced that Alabama’s preliminary June unemployment rate is 6.5 percent, down from last month’s rate of 6.8 percent and well below last year’s June rate of 7.6 percent.  June 2013’s rate represents 140,148 unemployed persons, compared to 147,720 in the previous month and 163,982 in June of 2012.

“We’re working hard every day to recruit more jobs for the people of Alabama,” Governor Bentley said.  “We’re encouraged to see year-to-year improvements in the factors that comprise our unemployment rate.  Since June of 2012, the labor force has increased by more than 10,000, the number of people working is up by nearly 34,000, and the number of people unemployed is down by almost 24,000.  This is why our unemployment rate is down by more than 1 percentage point since then.”

The number of people in the civilian workforce in June of 2013 was 2,170,100, compared to 2,159,944 in June of 2012.  The number of people employed in June of 2013 was 2,029,952, compared to 1,995,962 in June of 2012.  Also, the number of people unemployed in June of 2013 was 140,148, compared to 163,982 in June of 2012.  (All figures are seasonally adjusted.)

“Although we didn’t see growth over the past month in the labor force or the number employed, it’s not anything to be terribly concerned about,” Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said.  “These summer months always bring an influx of people looking for summer jobs or new graduates looking for full-time jobs.  The May to June numbers have been ‘seasonally adjusted’ to allow for those expected increases.  Basically, the adjustment removes any spikes when seasonal factors occur and allows us to have a more accurate picture of employment in Alabama.”

County rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Wage and salary employment increased in June by 3,700.  Monthly gains occurred in leisure and hospitality (+4,600), construction (+1,800) and trade, transportation, and utilities (+800), among other sectors.

The number of initial unemployment compensation claims is down by 14 percent.  In June, 17,680 initial claims were filed, compared to 20,553 in the previous month and 20,588 last year.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby, 4.5 percent; Cullman, 5.6 percent; and Limestone and Baldwin, both 5.7 percent.  Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox, 15.8 percent; Perry, 14 percent; and Dallas, 13.4 percent.

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