Unemployment rate up slightly

Published 4:22 pm Friday, January 24, 2014

Escambia County’s unemployment rate edged up slightly in December, up to 7.1 percent from 7.0 the previous month.

But it was down a full percentage point from the previous year.
The rate represents 976 unemployed residents — the same number as last month, down from 1,147 unemployed people a year ago.

But the labor force has also gone down. In December 2012, Escambia County had 14,138 people counted in its civilian labor force, and last month the county had 13,783.

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Statewide, Alabama’s rate was down slightly from 6.2 percent in November to 6.1 percent in December.

Gov. Robert Bentley touted the numbers as the lowest in five years.

“There are 59,400 more jobs today in Alabama than there were in January of 2011, with the greatest job growth coming from the manufacturing sector,” he said in a statement. “There are over 40,000 new, future jobs coming to Alabama. We’re announcing new, well-paying jobs in six locations across the state this month alone.

“The University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research just last week released its economic forecast, which predicts greater growth and an estimated 25,000 jobs to be added in 2014. This is all great news for Alabamians who need a well-paying job, but I won’t be satisfied until every person who wants a job can get a job in this state.”

Alabama’s civilian labor force was down by more than 32,000 people from December 2012 to December 2013.