Alabama Department of Labor

New Labor Commisoner
4:31 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Gov. Bentley Names New Labor Commisioner

Fitzgerald Washington has been appointed to be the next Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner.
Credit Shelton State Community College

Governor Robert Bentley has appointed Fitzgerald Washington to be the next Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Labor.

Washington has spent the last 15 years working for The Buffalo Rock Company. While there he served as Corporate Marketing and Sales Director handling the company’s multicultural marketing initiatives before being promoted to General Sales Manager in 2002.

Governor Bentley also appointed Washington to the Alabama Workforce Council. Washington replaces Tom Surtees who stepped down as labor commissioner late last month.

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Alabama Unemployment
3:53 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Alabama Unemployment Measures 6.3 Percent

Alabama's unemployment rate measured 6.3 percent for August.

Alabama's unemployment rate measured 6.3 percent for August.

The state Department of Labor says the rate is up from July's revised figure of 6.2 percent, but it is well below the 7.5 percent rate from July 2012. It is also below the national rate of 7.3 percent.

The new figures show the number of unemployed Alabamians stayed about the same from July to August, but the number of people employed and the size of the labor force declined.

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Alabama Unemployment
4:56 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Alabama's Unemployment Rate Drops To 6.3 Percent

Gov. Robert Bentley says Alabama has not had an unemployment rate as low as last month's since October 2008.
Credit The Associated Press

Alabama's unemployment rate declined to 6.3 percent in July, which is the lowest rate in nearly five years.

Gov. Robert Bentley said Alabama has not had a rate that low since October 2008. July's rate was down from 6.5 percent in June and was well below the 7.6 percent rate recorded a year ago.

The state Department of Labor said the July rate represents about 135,000 people looking for work. That's down by nearly 5,000 people from the previous month.

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Alabama Unemployment
5:18 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Alabama Unemployment Drops To 6.5 percent

Alabama's jobless rate fell to its lowest rate in four years for the month of June.

Alabama's unemployment rate dropped to 6.5 percent in June, which is lowest rate in more than four years.

The state Department of Labor said the June rate was down from 6.8 percent in May, and it was the lowest rate recorded since Alabama hit the same figure in November 2008. It was also below the national figure of 7.6 percent.

The rate was supposed to be announced Friday, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics inadvertently released it early. State officials then provided details of the new rate.

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Unemployment Benefits Cut
5:09 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Benefits Cut For Long-Term Unemployed Alabamians

Many long-termed unemployed Alabamians will see their benefits cut later this month.
Credit Alabama Department of Labor

Many long-term unemployed Alabamians will see their benefits drop 12.8 percent on April 28.

State Labor Department spokeswoman Tara Hutchison said the reductions are the result of mandatory federal spending cuts that all states must make. The cuts will affect people who have been receiving unemployment benefits for more than six months. Currently, about 16,500 Alabamians receive the extended benefits.

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Federal Budget Cuts
6:42 am
Wed February 27, 2013

16,000 Alabamians to See Cut in Jobless Benefits

The long-term unemployed in Alabama will be among the first to feel automatic federal budget cuts scheduled to take effect Friday.

A spokeswoman for the Alabama Department of Labor says federal officials have advised the department to prepare for a cut of 9 percent to 10 percent in unemployment benefits for Alabamians who have exhausted their 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits and are now getting the extended 37 weeks of federal benefits.

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Business & Education
8:42 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Alabama Unemployment Drops to 7.1 Percent

Alabama's unemployment rate has dropped again.

Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday that December's rate of 7.1 percent is down from 7.5 percent in November. It's the fourth month for a decline since measuring 8.5 percent in August. The December rate is also better than the 8 percent measured a year ago.

The state Department of Labor reports that Alabama gained 7,600 manufacturing jobs during the last year, and professional and business services jobs grew by 4,500.

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Alabama Unemployment
4:24 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Ala. Jobless Rate Drops To 7.5 Percent

Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees says the latest job numbers show employers are expecting a strong holiday shopping season.
Credit / Alabama Dept. of Industrial Relations

Alabama's unemployment rate fell sharply to 7.5 percent in November, a drop officials say was helped by holiday hiring.

The state Department of Labor said Friday the number represents 162,182 people who were jobless last month.

The state's unemployment rate was below the national rate of 7.7 percent, and it's down six-tenths of a percent from October.

The rate of 7.5 percent is also well below the year-ago rate of 8.3 percent.

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Politics & Government
8:26 am
Tue September 25, 2012

2 Alabama Departments Merging to Save Money

Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees will lead the new Department of Labor.

The Alabama Department of Industrial Relations and the Alabama Department of Labor will merge Oct. 1, with the new department known as the Department of Labor.

Labor Commissioner Jim Bennett is retiring after nine years in the post, and Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees will lead the combined department.

The Legislature approved the merger with the support of the governor, and it's supposed to save $100,000 to $200,000 per year. Surtees said that will come from eliminating rent and other operating expenses and consolidating functions.

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