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franklin county times

Unemployment claims rise slightly in May

Franklin County’s unemployment numbers followed the state and national trends in May, rising slightly from their reported April totals.
The county’s jobless claims rose from 920 to 1,050 in April. That represents 7.8 percent of the county’s eligible workers and an increase from April’s seven percent.
The state average increased from 7.2 to 7.4 percent.
“While it’s certainly never a good thing to report an increase in the unemployment rate, I have to say this one was expected,” Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said.
“We traditionally see an increase in the May and June rates as more people enter the workforce in the form of new graduates and education staff who aren’t working during the summer months. In addition, the national unemployment rate rose slightly, and the states usually follow the nation’s lead.”
May’s rate represents 159,218 unemployed persons, compared to 154,012 last month, and 203,806 in May 2011.
The national unemployment rate for May was 8.2 percent, up from 8.1 percent in April.
Alabama’s workforce grew by more than 6,000 people in May. The seasonally adjusted civilian labor force measured 2,143,105, up from 2,137,043 in April.
Additionally, unemployment compensation claims data continues to indicate economic improvement. Initial claims for benefits are down 34.7 percent from last year.  The number of initial claims recorded in May 2012 was 22,865, compared to 34,995 in May 2011.
The counties with the lowest unemployment rate were Shelby County at 5.2 percent, Coffee County at 6.3 percent, Limestone County at 6.4 percent and Autauga County at 6.4 percent.
Counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox County at 16.2 percent, Lowndes County at 15 percent and Dallas County at 13.3 percent.
In northwest Alabama, unemployment rates were Lauderdale County at 6.5 percent, Colbert County at 7.5 percent, Lawrence County at 8.1 percent, Winston County at 9.9 percent and Marion County at 9.1 percent.
The region did receive good news Thursday when state officials announced that 200 new jobs would be added in Lawrence County with the addition of a barrel producing plant.