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County’s jobless claims drop dramatically

Franklin County’s jobless claims dropped significantly in November, down from 8.7 percent in October to 7.4 percent.
The county claims are now below the state average of 7.5 percent, which dropped from 8.3 percent in October.
Alabama’s November 2012 unemployment rate is also below the national rate of 7.7 percent.
“We’re going to continue on the same path of working hard every day to recruit and attract more jobs for this state,” Gov. Robert Bentley said.
“The unemployment rate can fluctuate given the time of year. We are encouraged that the overall trend shows a decreasing unemployment rate, and I will continue my efforts to create more jobs until everyone who wants a job is able to find one.”
“November’s rate indicates that Alabama’s employers are expecting a strong holiday season,” said Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees.
“The increase in retail hiring means that many people have jobs this Christmas that may otherwise have not.  Even if some of the jobs are temporary, that still means that thousands of Alabamians will be able to provide for their families during the holiday season.”
Retail trade employment increased by 3,700 in November, with the bulk of that increase coming from hiring in general merchandise and department stores.
“We also continue to see positive indicators in other areas,” Surtees added.  “We are consistently seeing initial claims and benefits payments at pre-recession levels, and record numbers of active job orders on  Sixty-six of 67 counties experienced a drop in their unemployment rate this month.”
The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.6 percent, Lee County and Madison County at 5.6 percent and St. Clair County, Coffee County, Blount County, and Limestone County at 5.7 percent.
The counties with the highest unemployment rates are WilcoxCounty at 15.9 percent, Bullock County at 14.1 percent and Dallas County at 13.2 percent.
In northwest Alabama, the reported totals were as follows: Lauderdale County at 5.9 percent, Colbert County at 6.7 percent, Lawrence County at 7.1 percent, Marion County at 8.3 percent and Winston County at 9.4 percent.