Jobless increase in state, countyPublished 5:00am Saturday, March 30, 2013
The preliminary unemployment figures are in for February, and Alabama’s jobless rate has increased to 7.2 percent from 6.9 percent in January. The number is equal to February 2012’s adjusted rate, according to Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees.
The February rate represents 154,885 unemployed, compared to 148,663 last month and 155,673 in 2012.
“While we did experience a slight uptick in the unemployment rate this month, we also saw an increase in the number of people working, both over the past month and the past year,” said Surtees. “We’ve also seen an increase in the number of people in the labor force. This tells us that some people are regaining confidence in the job market and are looking for work again.”
Elmore County’s jobless rate edged up to 7.5 percent from January’s revised 7.4 percent figure. According to the Department of Labor, 2,632 county residents received or applied for unemployment compensation in February, up about 70 from January.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates in February are Shelby at 5.6 percent, Lee at 6.4 percent and Blount at 6.5 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox at 17.6, Lowndes at 14.5 and Dallas at 13.8.