Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday that Alabama’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate had held steady at 6.2 percent, though the unadjusted rate is 6.5 percent.
“The momentum that we are seeing in our employment numbers continues to be encouraging,” Bentley said in a news release. “Our mission to provide all Alabamians with a job remains my top priority. The growth that we are consistently seeing, combined with the regular announcements of new jobs coming to the state, is helping us to achieve that goal. Our economy is supporting 106,900 more jobs now than when I took office in January 2011. But there’s still a lot of work to do, and I remain committed to doing that work.”
“No change in the unemployment rate is good news this month,” Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said in the press release. “We continue to see high numbers of employed people, which again is topping 2 million. We have consistently seen over 2 million employed people for 21 straight months. Additionally, a high number of people are in the workforce, which tells us that people are confident in the labor market. People haven’t shown this level of confidence in the job market in over three years.”
The release notes that, according to the Current Population Survey (CPS), the number of people employed in February was 2,033,386, the highest number since August 2008. In all, 2,167,723 Alabamians are employed, the highest number since October 2012.
Wage and salary employment came in at just over 1.9 million, the highest number since February 2008, an increase of more than 24,000. Significant increases were shown in the education and health services sector (+5,900), the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+5,400), and the professional and business services sector (+5,000), among others.
The state’s lowest unemployment rates were seen in Shelby County (4.7 percent), Elmore County (5.4 percent), and Lee County (5.5 percent).
Despite an unchanging unemployment rate and significant gains in certain sectors, several Alabama counties are still experiencing unemployment rates at or above 10 percent: Clarke County (12.5 percent), Greene County (10.8 percent), Lowndes County (11.4 percent), Monroe County (10.7 percent), Perry County (10.1 percent), and Wilcox County (15.4 percent).
In all, 52 of Alabama’s 67 counties are at or above the state’s current unemployment rate, with 22 above 7.5 percent.