Pike County unemployment rate down from last month’s numbers

Published 11:00 pm Friday, April 19, 2013

State labor officials said Friday that Alabama’s unemployment rate held steady in March. In Pike County, the number went down.

The state unemployment rate last month was 7.2 percent, which is the same as March 2012, Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said. That rate represents 155,071 unemployed people, compared to 154,790 last month.

Pike County’s rate for March 2013 was also the same as it was for March 2012, 6.9 percent. That’s down from February’s unemployment rate of 7.2 percent.

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“This month we continued to see the labor force grow, which tells us that more people are re-gaining confidence in the job market. We also saw the number of people with jobs grow by nearly 7,000, with only a slight increase in the number of unemployed,” Surtees said. “Even though the rate didn’t decrease, these are still positive signs.”

The civilian labor force for the state increased in March to 2,164,497. That’s up from 2,157,556 in February and 2,156,362 last year. The number of employed persons rose from last month and last year to 2,009,426.

“We always urge people to look at trends in the unemployment numbers, rather than simply looking at only the monthly data in order to get a better picture of the job market,” Surtees said.

All but one of the state’s 67 counties and all of the state’s metropolitan areas saw their unemployment rates drop in March, Surtees said.

Eight Alabama counties saw decreases in their unemployment rates of 1.5 percentage points or greater. These counties are: Barbour, Bullock, Choctaw, Cleburne, Conecuh, Lamar, Marion, and Winston.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Shelby County at 4.7 percent, Blount County at 5.6 percent, and Lee County at 5.8 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox County at 16.4 percent, Lowndes County at 13.4 percent, and Dallas County at 12.8 percent.