• 72°

State jobless rate holds, county decreases

For the first time in three months, employment in Alabama increased during February, according to the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.

Director Tom Surtees announced that Alabama’s unemployment rate for February remains unchanged at 11.1 percent.

Marengo County enjoyed the first drop in its unemployment rate this year, down 0.7 percent to 14.1 percent. This rate represents 1,069 out-of-work residents.

“We are starting to see some consistent signs that our economy has begun a rebound,” said Surtees. “Our state showed employment gains for the first time in three months. In addition, new unemployment benefit claims have fallen 61 percent since the third week of January,” said Surtees.

The number of people filing new claims in February 2010 is estimated to be 25,000.

Comparatively, new claims for February 2009 were 41,000, while new claims in February 2008 were 20,000.

“We’re seeing nearly half the amount of people signing up for unemployment assistance this year than we were a year ago,” said Surtees.

“We are hopeful that this is a positive sign, pointing towards some relief from this recession.”