Ala. unemployment rate stuck at 11 percent

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama's unemployment rate remained unchanged for the month of April, stuck at 11 percent. Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees released the figures Friday, adding that wage and salary employment actually increased by 14,200 during the month.

The additional employment gains are being credited with keeping the state's unemployment rate from rising for the second consecutive month. April's rate equals approximately 228,300 unemployed citizens.

"We've seen relatively little change in the rate over the past six months," Surtees said. "While I am not yet ready to call the leveling out of the unemployment rate a trend, we are certainly cautiously optimistic that the rise in unemployment has ceased and we'll eventually see a decline."

Surtees says upward movement is being seen in the leisure and hospitality, construction, profession and business service, government, manufacturing, education and health services and the trade, transportation, and utilities sectors.

The counties with the highest unemployment rate are Wilcox (24.5%), Monroe (20%) and Dallas at (18.7%). The counties with the lowest unemployment rates include Shelby and Coffee counties at 7.7% each.