The state of Alabama unemployment rate is remaining steady at 11% and giving hope to economic experts that the painful rise in joblessness may be over. Alabama’s unemployment rate for April was 11 percent, the same as March. During the last six months, Alabama’s rate has come in between 10.9 percent and 11.1 percent, State Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees announced on Friday.
Tom Surtees also said that: “While I am not ready to call the leveling out of the unemployment rate a trend, we are certainly cautiously optimistic that the rise in unemployment has ceased, and we’ll eventually see a decline.”
An economist at Auburn University Montgomery Keivan Deravi, who has advised state officials for many years, agreed Alabama’s unemployment has peaked but he said it will remain stubbornly high because of slow job creation.
The leveling off of unemployment could change if the economic uncertainty in Europe increases or the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico reaches Alabama’s coast, causing massive layoffs in the tourism industry, Keivan Deravi also warned.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a report on Friday.IN this report showing that Alabama’s 11 percent rate was the ninth highest among the states. Among Alabama’s neighboring states, Florida measured 12 percent, Mississippi 11.5 percent, Tennessee 10.5 percent, and Georgia 10.4 percent.
Alabama’s 11 percent rate was up from 9.7 percent a year ago, and it was above the national rate for April of 9.9 percent. Alabama’s rate for April represented 228,333 unemployed residents.
Counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox at 24.5 percent, Monroe at 20 percent, and Dallas at 18.7 percent. Counties with the lowest rates were Madison at 7.6 percent and Shelby and Coffee at 7.7 percent.