County unemployment rate drops while state rate rises

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

Shelby County’s unemployment rate continues to drop, as the county saw a jobless rate of 6.5 percent in April, down from 6.7 percent in March.

However, the state’s unemployment rate climbed to 9.3 percent, up slightly from March’s rate of 9.2 percent, according to a release from the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.

The state followed the national trend, which saw the United States unemployment rate go from 8.8 percent in March to 9 percent in April.

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said slight rises and drops in the unemployment rate are to be expected.

“It appears that Alabama followed the national trend this month, as we experienced a slight increase in our unemployment rate. As I’ve noted before, these kinds of minor fluctuations are to be expected as we emerge from a recession,” Surtees said.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby, Coffee County at 7 percent and Pike County at 7.2 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rate were Wilcox County at 20.9 percent, Perry County at 16.2 percent and Clarke County at 16.1 percent.