MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama's April unemployment rate has increased to 9.3 percent from the previous month. The jobless figures, which do not factor in employment losses due to the April tornadoes, are "up slightly" according to Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees. The previous month saw a rate of 9.2 percent. The state sat at 9.8 percent at the same point in 2010.
Surtees says the jobless numbers relating to the April 27 tornadoes will be reflected in the June report.
"It appears that Alabama followed the national trend this month," Surtees said. The nation as a whole saw unemployment increase from 8.8 percent to 9 percent.
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The comparable rate for one year ago was 9.8%. April's rate represents 199,950 unemployed persons, compared to 195,210 in March and 209,465 in April 2010. The national unemployment rate for April was 9.0%, up from 8.8% in March.
Surtees said he sees positive signs in the data. The current payouts in unemployment benefits are down significantly from the same time in 2010. "The amount of benefits payments made in April was $28,080,263, compared to $38,785,15 in April 2010, $55,151,078 in April 2009, and $23,917,886 in April 2008," Surtees said.
The number of weeks claims in April was also down to 155,407 compared to 206,689 in April 2010.
Shelby County at 6.5 percent, Coffee County at 7 percent and Pike County at 7.2 percent were the counties with the lowest unemployment rates.
Wilcox County at 20.9 percent, Perry County at 16.2 percent, and Clarke County at 16.1 percent were the counties with the highest unemployment rates.