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State jobless rate drops

Marengo County’s jobless rate plummeted more than a full percent in March according to statistics released Friday.

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations director Tom Surtees announced today that Alabama’s March unemployment rate fell to 11 percent. This is down from February’s rate of 11.1 percent.

Marengo’s jobless rate of 13.2 percent represents a sharp decline from February’s rate of 14.1 percent. However, it is a full percentage point higher than the rate of 12.2 posted in March 2009.

“While we are certainly pleased to see a small decrease in the unemployment rate, I want to caution everyone that we are not out of the woods just yet,” said Surtees. “For the second month in a row, we have seen an increase in wage and salary employment, and that’s a good sign. Hopefully, these positive signs will continue to come our way as we continue to pay benefits in an extremely timely manner to Alabamians that need them.”

Wage and salary employment increased by 12,100 over the month, with most of the upturn resulting from gains in the leisure and hospitality sector, the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, the government sector, the professional and business services sector, and the educational and health services sector.

In March, 51 fewer Marengo County residents filed for unemployment benefits compared to the month before.