County unemployment dips below 5 percent

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Shelby County’s unemployment rate dipped below 5 percent in April after hovering around the 5 percent mark in March, according to the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.

The county’s jobless rate was at 4.6 percent, lowest in the state. The state unemployment rate also saw a drop, hitting 7.2 percent from March’s rate of 7.4 percent.

Gov. Robert Bentley said he feels the economy is actively getting stronger.

“Alabama hasn’t seen an unemployment rate this low since the start of the recession,” Bentley said in a press release. “I think we are getting to a point where we are seeing many areas of the economy improving.”

Bentley cited the news that Toyota Motor Manufacturing will expand its production facility in Huntsville as just one positive economic development.

The last time the state unemployment rate was at or below 7.2 percent was November 2008.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby, Coffee at 5.3 percent, Lee at 5.6 percent and Limestone at 5.6 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox at 15.1 percent, Lowndes at 13.9 percent and Dallas at 12.2 percent.