Alabama jobless rate down to 5.7 percent, Druid City Garden Project to host event

Aug 19, 2016

Alabama's unemployment rate is on the decline.

A statement issued Friday by the governor's office says Alabama's July unemployment rate was 5.7 percent, down three-tenths of a percent from June. It's also below the jobless rate of a year ago.

State unemployment is still well above the U.S. rate of 4.9 percent. But the Labor Department says the July rate represents the fewest number of unemployed people in Alabama since 2008.

The state has added almost 28,000 jobs in the last year.

Shelby County in metro Birmingham has Alabama's lowest unemployment rate at 4.2 percent, while Wilcox County in rural west Alabama is highest with a jobless rate of 14.3 percent.

Vestavia Hills has the lowest rate among cities at 3.4 percent. Selma is worst with unemployment at 11.4 percent.

An Alabama Senate Committee may want to repay a man who spent thirty years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Anthony Ray Hinton was recently released after being falsely convicted of a double murder. The Alabama Wrongful Incarceration Act says Hinton should receive one and a half million dollars for his time behind bars. The Senate bill offers just a half million.

Birmingham attorney Richard Jaffe* represented another Alabama man wrongfully imprisoned for murder. He says act unfairly makes people argue their case without help…

“The law prevents a lawyer from participating and getting paid by helping the exoneree take advantage of the law. They’re not lawyers, that is the exonerees…they forbid legally a lawyer’s involvement.”

The Alabama Public Radio news team is preparing a continuing series of reports on justice reform and prison reform. The Wrongful Incarceration Act is one of the topics we’ll highlight in the coming weeks.

The Druid City Garden Project is looking for volunteers who aren’t afraid to get their hands a little dirty.

The plan is to build new garden boxes at elementary schools around the Tuscaloosa area.  The gardens will be used for hands-on experiences in the children’s science classes.

Lindsay Turner is the executive director of Druid City Garden Project. She says the volunteers they need have to be able to do minimal physical labor.

“This weekend, we are launching three new gardens and we are incredibly excited about it.  We need folks who are willing to come with a shovel if they have one, if not, come as they are.  Then be able to do some physical labor at the site by shoveling that compost into the garden beds and come with a good attitude.”

You can visit Druid City Garden Project’s website for more on this weekend’s volunteer project.