State unemployment rate drops again; county keeps lowest rate

Alabama’s unemployment rate for the month of June dropped to 10.3 percent, down from May’s rate of 10.7 percent.

June’s rate marks the first time since August 2007 that the unemployment rate is not higher than the previous year’s. The rate in June 2009 was also 10.3 percent.

Shelby County’s unemployment rate in June was the lowest in the state at 7.7 percent.

The state’s 10.3 percent rate represents 215,813 unemployed statewide, compared to 225,182 in May.

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said the drop in unemployment represents a significant step ahead for the economy.

“This is the first significant drop in our unemployment rate that we’ve experienced for some time,” Surtees said. “We are certainly glad to see it. However, the more than 200,000 unemployed Alabamians probably don’t feel this way.”

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby, Madison at 7.9 percent and Coffee at 8.1 percent. The counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox at 23.6 percent, Dallas at 18.5 percent and Perry at 18.3 percent.