Alabama Tom Surtees

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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Labor Commissioner Departs
4:03 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Ala. Labor Chief Exiting After Serving 2 Governors

Alabama Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees is stepping down after a decade of leading major state agencies for two governors.
Credit governor.alabama.gov

Alabama Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees is stepping down after a decade of leading major state agencies for two governors.

It's rare for someone to serve in key positions in two administrations. Surtees was hired as state revenue commissioner in 2004 by Gov. Bob Riley. Then he moved to the Department of Industrial Relations in 2007. He remained in the post when Gov. Robert Bentley took office in 2011, and he became labor commissioner when the departments of Industrial Relations and Labor were merged under Bentley.

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Alabama Unemployment
3:30 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Alabama Unemployment Rises To 6.9 Percent

State Commerce Secretary Tom Surtees says the rise in April is due in part to how unemployment figures are seasonally adjusted.
Credit http://dir.alabama.gov / Alabama Dept. of Industrial Relations

Alabama's unemployment rate has risen for the third month.

State Commerce Secretary Tom Surtees says April's rate of 6.9 percent is up from 6.7 percent in March. That's higher than the rate a year ago of 6.5 percent.

Alabama began the year at 6.1 percent unemployment in January and then increased to 6.4 percent in February.

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Alabama Unemployment
5:12 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Ala. Jobless Rate Jumps To 6.7 Percent

Alabama labor commissioner, Tom Surtees, says the unemployment rate is up because of the growth in the labor force.
Credit http://dir.alabama.gov / Alabama Dept. of Industrial Relations

Alabama's unemployment rate is rising.

The state Department of Labor says Alabama's March unemployment rate is 6.7 percent, which is three-tenths of a percent higher than the February rate. It's also above the March 2013 rate of 6.6 percent.

The job rate represents 144,628 unemployed people. But the number of people in the labor force also grew by more than 14,000 people, and the number of working Alabamians increased by 7,000.

The state labor commissioner, Tom Surtees, says the unemployment rate is up because of the growth in the labor force.

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Alabama Unemployment
4:46 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Ala. Jobless Rate Unchanged At 6.1 Percent

Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees says the state saw growth in the labor force and an increase in the number of people working, which are good signs.
Credit governor.alabama.gov

Alabama's latest unemployment rate is unchanged at 6.1 percent.

The Department of Labor says the preliminary jobless rate for January was the same as the December 2013 rate. The unemployment rate of 6.1 percent represents 130,444 people without jobs.

The rate is down considerably from a year earlier. The jobless rate for January 2013 was 6.7 percent.

The number of people working in the state in January increased from 1.98 million in December to 1.99 million in January.

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Alabama Unemployment
4:49 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Alabama Unemployment Rises To 7.2 Percent

State Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said the jobless rate went up even though the number of people working in the state increased by about 3,300.
Credit governor.alabama.gov

Alabama's unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent in February.


The rate announced by the state Department of Labor is up from 6.9 percent in January and is equal to the rate a year ago. The number of unemployed people looking for work grew by more than 6,000 from January.

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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.
governor.alabama.gov

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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