By By Kerry Whipple Bean
Escambia County's unemployment rate went down a half percentage point from February to March, according to statistics released Friday by the Department of Industrial Relations.
The unemployment rate was 12.6 in March, down from 13.1 in February. The rate represents 1,783 unemployed persons out of a labor force of 14,099 in March. The number of unemployed persons in February was 1,832 out of a labor force of 13,946.
The state unemployment rate dropped slightly to 11 percent from 11.1 the previous month. Wage and salary employment was up by 12,100 in the state.
"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 DIR Director Tom Surtees in a statement. "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."
Conecuh and Monroe counties have unemployment rates among the highest in the state, 19.4 percent and 20.4 percent respectively.