MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama's unemployment rate held steady for the month of February, not budging from the previous month's 9.3 percent.
Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said that while the rate remains unchanged from January's rate, it is significantly below the February 2010 rate of 10.2 percent.
"Our unemployment rate for February remained stable and did not increase, which is something we're always glad to be able to say," said Surtees. "While we did gain jobs this month, the stronger indicators of recovery continue to be found in our unemployment compensation statistics. The amount of benefit payments and number of weeks compensated continue to be below the levels of the past two years, and we also experienced a decrease in each from January."
The amount of unemployment compensation benefit payments for the month of February was $33,145,680, compared to $37,687,027 in January. The comparable numbers for February 2010 and 2009 were $44,660,745 and $51,451,741, respectively. The number of weeks compensated in February was 163,359, down from 187,980 in January. The comparable numbers for February 2010 and 2009 were 216,333 and 247,715, respectively.
Wage and salary employment increased 13,900 over the month. The majority of the increase came from gains in the leisure and hospitality sector, the professional and business services sector, and the sectors of government, construction, manufacturing, and educational and health services.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 7.1%, Coffee County at 7.5%, and Madison County at 7.8%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 21.4%, Monroe County at 16.9%, and Clarke County 16.6%.
INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Dept. or Industrial Relations