County unemployment rate drops significantly

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Shelby County’s unemployment rate dropped by more than half a percentage point in October.

The county’s October rate was 6.1 percent, down from September’s rate of 6.8 percent.

The state’s unemployment rate in October was 9.3 percent, also a big drop from the state rate of 9.8 percent in September.

This is the fourth consecutive month Alabama’s unemployment rate has decreased, according to a Alabama Department of Industrial Relations press release.

“The drop in Alabama’s unemployment rate is certainly good news for our state,” said Gov. Robert Bentley in the release. “While we are still a long way from reaching full employment, October’s decline shows positive momentum for our state as we continue our mission to put Alabamians back to work.”

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said he believes seasonal hiring will also result in a stronger jobless rate.

“We are certainly not out of the woods yet, but we are optimistic that we will continue to see positive hiring trends for the rest of the year, especially as seasonal hiring picks up for the holidays,” Surtees said.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby, Coffee at 6.8 percent and Lee at 7.1 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox at 19 percent, Dallas at 16.6 percent and Bullock at 16.6 percent.