County employment numbers improve

Published 10:15 pm Monday, May 21, 2012

Unemployment was down significantly in Escambia County, as well as in the state, in April.

Figures released Friday showed unemployment at 7.8 percent in Escambia County, down from 10 percent in the same month of 2011.

In the state, unemployment was 7.2 percent in April, down .2points from March, and two whole points – from 9.2 percent- in the same month last year.

“Alabama hasn’t seen an unemployment rate this low since the start of the recession,” Gov. Robert Bentley said.  “I think we are getting to a point where we are seeing many areas of the economy improving. For example, the automotive base in Alabama is increasingly strong. Just yesterday, we announced Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama will be expanding its production facility in Huntsville. We have also seen many other exciting developments across the state that are leading to new jobs for Alabamians.  We will continue our job creation efforts with the goal that anyone who wants a job is able to find one.”

The last time Alabama’s unemployment rate was at or below7.2 percent was in November of 2008.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: ShelbyCounty at 4.6 percent, Coffee County at 5.3 percent, Lee County at 5.6 percent,and Limestone County at 5.6 percent.  The counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 15.1 percent, Lowndes County at 13.9 percent, and Dallas County at 12.2 percent.

Escambia County’s neighbors to the west and east had lower unemployment rates, but its neighbors to the north had higher rates. BaldwinCounty’s rate was 5.9 percent; Covington’s was 7.1 percent; Conecuh County’s was 10.6 percent, and Monroe County’s was 11.4 percent.