County unemployment rises from December to January

Published 10:45 am Monday, March 17, 2014

Marengo County’s unemployment rate for January is 8.5 percent, up from 7.1 percent in December. This is down from January 2013, when the county’s rate was 9.8 percent.

The county’s 8.5 percent represents 627 residents out of work.

Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees announced Monday that Alabama’s preliminary January unemployment rate is 6.1 percent, which is unchanged from the December 2013 rate, and below the January 2013 rate of 6.7 percent.

Email newsletter signup

January’s rate represents 130,444 unemployed persons, compared to 129,633 in December 2013, and 144,410 in January 2013.

“Looking at the seasonally adjusted numbers, we saw growth in both the labor force and the number of people working in Alabama in January, and those are positive signs,” Surtees said. “Additionally, the number of job orders we received on JobLink have, once again, set a record for the highest number of job orders in the history of the site. Although the number of jobs reported decreased, this is a common occurrence in January, and is due, in large part, to retailers laying off seasonal help.”

The number of people working in Alabama in January increased to 1,990,637 from 1,984,264 in December 2013 (seasonally adjusted). The Civilian Labor Force, or people who are either working or actively seeking work, increased to 2,121,081 from 2,113,897 in December 2013 (seasonally adjusted).

In January, there were 21,315 active job orders on JobLink, Alabama’s free online jobs database, the highest number recorded in the site’s nine year history.

Wage and salary employment, which is the measure of how many jobs Alabama’s economy supports and is reported by employers, decreased 33,600 over the month. The losses were seen in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, primarily in retail trade, the leisure and hospitality sector, and the professional and business services sector, among others.

Over the past 12 months (January 2013-January 2014), wage and salary employment increased 20,400. Gains were due to increases in the leisure and hospitality sector, the trade, transportation and utilities sector, education and health services sector, and the manufacturing sector, among others.

Counties with lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.6 percent, Lee County at 5.5 percent and Limestone and Cullman Counties at 5.8 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 16.4 percent, Perry County at 13.2 percent and Bullock County at 12.7 percent.