Alabama still has some worrisome jobless numbers in many of its counties but its overall unemployment of 7.3 percent for March should make it the envy of the two states that it is sandwiched between — Georgia (9 percent unemployment for March) and Mississippi (9.5 percent unemployment for February).
Though Georgia and Mississippi both have some distance to go to match Alabama’s jobless rate, the two states are seeing declines in the number of unemployed people. Georgia’s 9 percent drop represented a one-tenth of a percentage drop from February’s rate of 9.1 percent, while Mississippi’s February rate declined five-tenths of a percent from 9.5 percent to 9 percent.
Alabama’s March preliminary unemployment rate of 7.3 percent represents a two-tenths of a percentage point drop from revised rate of 7.5 represent, said the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.
The last time Alabama’s unemployment rate was at 7.3% was in December of 2008, the state says. March’s rate represents 157,378 unemployed persons, down from 161,795 last month, and significantly down from last year’s count of 203,799.
Gov. Robert Bentley said the state is seeing record numbers of job postings on JobLink, Alabama’s online job data base (joblink.alabama.gov).
The online jobs database registered more job postings in March than at any time since 2008 (with the exception of spikes due to temporary jobs following the Gulf Oil Spill and the 2011 April tornadoes). 12,788 jobs were posted in March, the state says.
Alabama counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Shelby County at 5.1 percent and Coffee County at 6.0 percent. Mississippi counties with the lowest jobless rate in February (the most recent month reported) were Rankin at 6.1 percent and Madison, 6.7 percent. Alabama counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox at 16.1 percent and Lowndes County at 15.3 percent. Mississippi’s highest local unemployment rate occurred in Tunica at 17.4 percent and Holmes at 17.2 percent.