From staff reports
MONTGOMERY — Gov. Robert Bentley last week announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted February unemployment rate is 5.8 percent, down from January’s rate of 6 percent, and well below February 2014’s rate of 7.2 percent.
“Alabama’s February unemployment rate is very good news for our state,” Bentley said. “This month’s drop contributes to the 15-month trend we’ve seen with no increase in unemployment. Over two million Alabamians are working – the most since 2008. Our economy supported more jobs in February than it has during the same period since 2008. We also experienced a significant increase in construction jobs, which bodes well for the state’s economic health.”
Preliminary data shows that all 67 counties experienced unemployment rate decreases both month over month and year over year.
The household survey indicates that 2,016,508 reported having jobs in February. The last time employment was equal to or above this number was October 2008, when employment totaled 2,021,511.
Wage and salary employment totaled 1,930,900 in February. The last time February’s wage and salary employment was equal to or above that number was in 2008. Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 37,900, with gains in the leisure and hospitality sector (+8,600), the professional and business services sector (+7,500), and the education and health services sector (+5,900), among others. Additionally, wage and salary employment increased in February by 7,600.
Monthly gains were seen in the leisure and hospitality sector (+3,100), the government sector (+2,500), and the construction sector (+1,800), among others.
In February, initial claims totaled 12,793. The last time initial claims were this low was in May of 1974. Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4 percent, Lee County at 4.7 percent and Tuscaloosa County at 4.8 percent.