By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Friday Governor Robert Bentley announced that Alabama’s preliminary September unemployment rate fell to 8.3%. This is down from the August rate of 8.5% and below last year’s rate of 8.8%. The state received more good economic news when Area Development Magazine once again ranked Alabama as one of the top five states for business.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said in a written statement, “More Alabamians are working this month, and that is certainly good news for the state. We still have a long way to go, and I will continue doing everything I can to put Alabamians back to work.”
Gov. Bentley said, “As I speak with companies all across the country and all across the world, they tell me they like Alabama because we offer so much. We have an environment that really makes companies want to locate and expand here. We offer the best workforce you can find, and we have a world-class workforce training program that helps companies succeed. Over the last 21 months, we’ve announced more than 26,000 new jobs from companies that are locating here or expanding here. Job creation remains my number-one priority, and we stand ready to welcome additional business here in Alabama.”
Alabama Department of Labor Director Tom Surtees said, “This drop in the unemployment rate is more consistent with what we’ve been seeing over the past few months: unemployment claims going down, fewer WARN notices, and record numbers of available jobs.”
The President of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Bill Taylor said, “Alabama’s competiveness in recruiting is due in great part to the tremendous success that leading companies achieve once they locate here,” said Bill Taylor, president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. “The state and the communities work hard to attract new investment. But everyone works even harder to support the new companies once they locate.”
Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said. “Not only are we competing, but in many cases, we are winning major projects with worldwide name recognition. The state is poised to be third-largest automotive producer in the nation and will soon be part of a major aerospace corridor.”
September’s unemployment rate represents 177,848 unemployed persons which is down from 183,267 last month and 192,667 in September 2011.
Director Surtees said, “As far as unemployment compensation goes, nearly every indicator we measure is well below pre-recession levels. Claims data don’t directly impact the unemployment rate, but they do allow us to gauge the frequency with which people are losing their jobs.” The number of initial unemployment claims dropped by 19% from last year. There were 18,525 initial claims in September, versus 22,890 last year.