MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama's governor is closer than he has ever been to earning a salary.
Gov. Robert Bentley pledged during his 2010 campaign that he wouldn't take accept compensation until the state reached full employment, which is widely considered by economists to be in the range of 4% and 6%.
According to data from the Alabama Department of Labor, the state's unemployment rate stands at 6.5%, the lowest of the governor's more than 900 days at the helm.
A spokesperson for Gov. Bentley said during his time as governor, the state has added more than 40,000 new and future jobs. The highlight of his tenure was the announcement that Airbus, the European aviation company, would open its first ever facility in the United States. The company will employ over a thousand people in 2015 on an assembly line to produce the A320 family of aircraft.
If 20,000 more Alabamians find jobs and the number of those unemployed decreases or stays roughly the same, the state's unemployment rate will dip below 6% for the first time since October 2008.
Overall, the state's total jobs picture hasn't changed drastically over the past few years. Since January 2011, the date of Gov. Bentley's inauguration there are more than 50,000 fewer people in Alabama's workforce. There are also more than 60,000 fewer unemployed. In total, there are 31,750 fewer people working in the state.
Individuals who leave the workforce who leave the workforce are considered to have been out of work for so long, or have given up searching for work.
The next unemployment figures will be released on August. 16.