Unemployment rate drops in February

Published 9:17 pm Friday, March 24, 2017

The unemployment rate for Dallas County and the state dropped from January to February.

The county rate decreased from 10.5 percent in January to 9.5 percent in February, decreasing by one percent. The state rate fell from 6.4 percent to 6.2 percent.

Fitzgerald Washington, secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor, attributed the decrease to more Alabamians working.

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“We are once again announcing that we have more people working in Alabama than have been over the last eight years,” Washington said in a release. “The labor force continues to grow, showing that jobseekers have confidence in our economy and are willing to enter the job market.”

The number of people working in Dallas County increased from 13,818 people in January to 13,904 in February. The number of people working in the state was 2,053,837 in January compared to 2,067,042 for February.

All 67 counties in Alabama saw their unemployment rate drop for the month of February, which was the opposite the month prior when every county saw an increase in jobless rates from December to January.

Dallas County is one of 12 counties in Alabama with a rate of 8 percent or above.

The others are Barbour, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Monroe, Perry, Wilcox and Washington counties. That number was 22 for January.

The counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox at 14.9 percent, Clarke at 11.2 percent and Lowndes with 10.7 percent.

The counties with the lowest rates are Shelby at 4.5 percent, Elmore at 5 percent and Lee at 5.2 percent.

Selma is one of three major cities across the state with a rate above 8 percent. Selma’s is 10.8 percent, Prichard is 10.3 percent and Bessemer is 8.5 percent.

The four major cities with the lower rates are Vestavia Hills at 4 percent, Homewood at 4.1 percent, Hoover at 4.3 percent and Aalabaster at 4.5 percent.