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State jobless rate up, county rate down

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees announced Friday that Alabama’s December 2010 unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, a slight increase from November’s rate of 9.0.

The rate is significantly lower than the year-ago rate of 10.9 percent. Marengo county bucked the trend, dropping its jobless rate nearly a half a percent from November.

Marengo’s rate of 11.7 percent is significantly lower than the 13.9 posted in December 2009.

December’s rate represents 194,686 unemployed persons, compared to 192,335 last month and 224,175 in December 2009. Marengo’s rate represents 922 unemployed persons, compared to 957 last month and 1068 last year.

“Although we did see a small increase in our unemployment rate, we still remain below the national rate, and Alabama did see a net increase in jobs over the past twelve months,” Surtees said. “The road coming out of this recession will be a bumpy one, and we have to be prepared to handle the bumps as they come along.”

Over the past 12 months, total nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 2,600. The majority of these gains came from the leisure and hospitality sector, the trade, transportation and utilities sector, and the government sector.