According to the Alabama Department of Labor, the county had a total workforce — counting those with jobs and those seeking unemployment benefits — of 52,610 in February, an increase of 598 residents from January. About 48,281 of those counted in the workforce in February actually had jobs, up by 450 workers from January.
The county also had a slight increase in unemployed residents, with 4,329 people seeking unemployment benefits in February, compared to 4,211 people in January.
The county's figures followed a similar pattern to that of the state, which had a February unemployment rate of 7.2 percent, up from 6.9 percent in January.
The labor figures show the state's civilian labor force grew to about 2.15 million in February from 2.14 million in January. The state's number of employed workers increased to more than 2 million in February from about 1.9 million in January. The number of unemployed Alabamians also increased in February to 154,885, up from 148,663 in January.
“While we did experience a slight uptick in the unemployment rate this month, we also saw an increase in the number of people working, both over the past month and the past year,” Tom Surtees, the state labor commissioner, said, according to a Friday press release. “We’ve also seen an increase in the number of people in the labor force. This tells us that some people are regaining confidence in the job market and are looking for work again.”
Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.