County unemployment rate rises slightly

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Shelby County’s unemployment rate rose slightly in May to 5.2 percent from the 4.6 percent mark in April, according to the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.

The county’s jobless rate was still the lowest in the state by more than one percentage point, with Coffee County owning the state’s next best jobless rate in May at 6.3 percent, according to an Alabama Department of Industrial Relations press release.

The state’s May unemployment rate was 7.4 percent, up from 7.2 percent in April.

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said the bump in the jobless rate is a natural result of the summer season.

“While it’s certainly never a good thing to report an increase in the unemployment rate, I have to say this one was expected,” Surtees said in the press release. “We traditionally see an increase in the May and June rates as more people enter the workforce in the form of new graduates and education staff who aren’t working during the summer months. In addition, the national unemployment rate rose slightly, and the states usually follow the nation’s lead.”

The national unemployment rate for May was 8.2 percent, up from 8.1 percent in April.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby, Coffee, Limestone at 6.4 percent and Autauga at 6.4 percent.

The counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox at 16.2 percent, Lowndes at 15 percent and Dallas at 13.3 percent.