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Unemployment drops significantly in April

Franklin County’s unemployment rate dropped by more than one full point in April, down from March’s total of 8.2 percent to seven percent.
That represents a total of only nine residents total from the same time period in 2012. 919 county residents filed jobless claims in April, whereas, 1,085 filed in March.
Gov. Robert Bentley on Friday announced that Alabama’s preliminary April unemployment rate is 6.9 percent, down from last month’s 7.2 percent and below the 7.4 percent recorded in April 2012.  April’s rate represents 150,503 unemployed persons, compared to 155,011 last month and 158,749 in April 2012.
“The labor force increased, meaning more people are regaining confidence in the job market,” Bentley said.
“Also, the number of people employed increased, meaning more people have jobs, and the number of people who are unemployed decreased. I am encouraged to see these improvements, and I will continue my efforts to recruit more jobs until everyone who needs a job is able to find one.”
The number of people in the civilian labor force increased in April to 2,177,865, up from 2,164,537 last month and up from 2,157,873 in April 2012. The number of people employed increased to 2,027,362, up from 2,009,526 last month and 1,999,124 last year.
The number of people unemployed dropped to 150,503 from 155,011 last month and 158,749 last year.
“Like last month, the positives continued to increase for Alabama’s counties. All of the counties saw drops in their rates, including a significant drop of 2.4 percentage points in Lowndes County’s rate,” said Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees.
“In addition, we saw an increase of nearly 10,000 jobs in the state, with some industries that had been previously lagging showing some real improvement, like construction.”
The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4 percent, Lee County at 4.9 percent and Blount County at 5 percent.
Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 14.8 percent, Perry County at 11.7 percent and Dallas County at 11.4 percent.
In northwest Alabama, the rates were: Lauderdale County at 5.2 percent, Colbert County at six percent, Lawrence County at 6.8 percent, Marion County at 7.2 percent and Winston County at eight percent.