Alabama unemployment rate drops below 7%

Alabama's preliminary April unemployment rate dropped in April to{}6.9%, down from{}7.2% the month before, and well below the{}7.4% recorded in April{}2012.{}

"The labor force increased, meaning more people are regaining confidence in the job market," Gov. Robert 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."

"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 4.0%, Lee County at 4.9% and Blount County at 5.0%.{} Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 14.8%, Perry County at 11.7% and Dallas County at 11.4%.