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County’s jobless rate falls slightly

Butler, Crenshaw and Lowndes counties were among the 63 Alabama counties that saw a slight drop in unemployment rates in April compared to March’s figures, according to the Alabama Department of Labor.

Butler County saw its rate drop from 7 percent to 6.9 percent, while Crenshaw County’s rate fell to 5.5 percent from 5.8 percent. Lowndes County experienced the largest drop of the neighboring counties with its rates falling from 10.9 percent in March to 10.3 percent in April.

The state saw a slight increase in its unemployment rate from 5.7 percent in March to 5.8 percent in April.

“Alabama’s April unemployment rate has some positive numbers about the economy,” Gov. Robert Bentley said. “The number of people in the labor force is up, the number of people employed is up, wage and salary employment is up, and the number of job orders posted on JobLink is up. Our economic development efforts will continue until every Alabamian who wants a job has the opportunity to find one.”

The Civilian Labor Force increased in April by 12,214, while the number of people counted as employed increased by 10,019.

“The better measure of the employment picture in Alabama is reflected in the wage and salary numbers,” Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said. “We are continuing to increase the number of jobs our economy supports, getting closer and closer to reaching the 2 million mark, which is how many jobs the economy supported prior to the recession.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 3.6 percent, Lee County at 4.4 percent, and Elmore and Autauga counties at 4.5 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County 13.8 percent, Clarke County at 10.8 percent and Lowndes County.