Jobless rate steady in February

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 26, 2011

The jobless rates for both Covington County and Alabama remained unchanged in February, the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations reported yesterday.

Alabama’s unemployment rate is 9.3 percent, unchanged from January’s rate, but below the 10.2 percent rate reported in February of 2010.

Covington County’s unemployment rate remained at 9.8 percent, also unchanged from January and slightly below the 10.0 percent rate in the same period last year. The percentage represents 1,559 local residents.

Covington County’s neighbor to the east, Coffee County, had the second lowest rate in the state at 7.5 percent. Other rates in the surrounding counties were Butler, 11.9 percent; Conecuh, 16.0 percent; Crenshaw, 9.9 percent; Geneva, 9.1 percent; and Escambia, 11.4 percent.

“Our unemployment rate for February remained stable and did not increase, which is something we’re always glad to be able to say,” ADIR director Tom Surtees said.. “While we did gain jobs this month, the stronger indicators of recovery continue to be found in our unemployment compensation statistics. The amount of benefit payments and number of weeks compensated continue to be below the levels of the past two years, and we also experienced a decrease in each from January.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 7.1 percent, Coffee County at 7.5 percent, and Madison County at 7.8 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 21.4 percent, Monroe County at 16.9 percent, and Clarke County 16.6 percent.