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Jobless rate increases in county

By Stephanie Nelson

The Brewton Standard

Escambia County saw a slight increase in the number of unemployment claims in May.

State department of labor statistics show a 6.3 percent unemployment rate in the county, which is up three-tenths of a point from April’s 6 percent rate, but still shy of the 7 percent rate from the same period last year.

Some 928 people filed for unemployment benefits – an increase of 56 applicants from April’s 872 claims.

The state’s overall unemployment rate stayed unchanged from April and the same period last year at 6.1 percent.

“These numbers show that we are continuing to see job growth in Alabama,” said Gov. Robert Bentley. “We are working hard every day to put Alabamians back to work. Though this month’s percentage remains the same, more people are working today than a month ago and more people are looking for work. This is a sign that the economy is on the right track, as we continue to work diligently to bring more jobs to Alabama.”

Sixty-five of Alabama’s 67 counties – including Escambia – experienced no change or a decrease in their rate over the year. Additionally, all of Alabama’s metropolitan statistical areas saw their rates decrease over the year as well.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby at 4.2 percent; Elmore at 4.8 percent, and Cherokee at 4.9 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox at 13.5 percent, Lowndes at 10.7 percent and Clarke at 10.6 percent.