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State jobless rate drops to 6.6 percent

Alabama’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September dropped to 6.6 percent, which is down from 6.9 percent in August, Governor Robert Bentley announced Friday.

Individuals without a job totaled 140,674, compared to 147,248 in the prior month.

In Morgan County, the unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent, compared to 6.7 percent in the prior month and two-tenths of a percentage under the 6.0 percent recorded in September 2013.

“The number of jobs reported in Alabama in September is the highest we have seen since December 2008, and that is thanks to the strong economic development efforts we have put in place to create jobs,” Governor Bentley said. “Our economy is supporting more jobs today than it has in the past five years, and our efforts will continue until every Alabamian who wants a job has the opportunity to have one.”

Wage and salary employment in September rose by 12,700. Gains were recorded in the government sector (+7,600), education and services (+2,800) and professional and business (+7,900).

JobLink, the state’s free online jobs database, registered 23,829 active job orders in September. The Help Wanted Online database registered 53,229 total job ads were placed with the most advertised careers being truck drivers, retail supervisors and registered nurses.

“Every county in the state experienced a decrease in their unemployment rate this month,” said Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington. “Five counties with traditionally high unemployment rates – Monroe, Dallas, Sumter, Wilcox and Perry – saw their rates drop more than two percentage points.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby, 4.3 percent; Lee and Cherokee, 4.7 percent; and Blount, 4.8 percent.