Alabama's unemployment rate drops to 7.1% in December - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Alabama's unemployment rate drops to 7.1% in December

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Governor Bentley has announced that Alabama's unemployment rate for December 2012 has dropped to 7.1%, which represents 152,638 unemployed persons in the state.

The December 2012 rate is also below the national rate of 7.8%.

Governor Bentley is encouraged to see the unemployment rate drop.

"Over the past 12 months, we've seen the total number of unemployed persons drop by nearly 22,000.  Still, we must remember that many people are looking for work.  Job creation remains my number-one priority, and I will continue working every day to bring more jobs to Alabama," said Governor Bentley.

Figures from the Alabama Department of Labor indicate that gains were seen in the manufacturing sector, professional &business services sector, the leisure & hospitality sector and the trade, transportation & utilities sector

"While the decrease in the number of unemployed persons is certainly welcomed, along with the other positive signs we've been seeing recently, we will continue to work to improve the employment picture in Alabama," Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said.  "Governor Bentley and our Department of Commerce are working to bring jobs to the state, and the staff in our Career Centers will continue to work to help the unemployed and underemployed find the right career."

Job seekers who need assistance with finding employment, writing a resumé and receiving educational or vocational training opportunities can go to any of the state's 47 local Career Centers.  For a list of Alabama's Career Centers, click here.

The counties with the lowest December 2012 unemployment rates were: Shelby County at 4.6%, Madison and Blount Counties at 5.5%, and Coffee, Cullman, Lee and St. Clair Counties at 5.7%.  The counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox County at 15.1%, Bullock County at 13.1% and Perry, Greene and Dallas Counties at 12.0%.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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