A Little Good News On The Unemployment Front

March 31, 2012

The latest job numbers released Friday showed a little bit of good news in the three-county North Escambia area — while Florida’s state unemployment rate dropped to the lowest level since early 2009.

Escambia County’s unemployment fell half a percentage point from 9.5 percent in January to 9.0 percent in February.  There were 587 jobs gained during the period, for a total Escambia County unemployment of 12,254 people. One year ago, unemployment in Escambia County was 10.3 percent.

Santa Rosa County unemployment slipped from 9.0 percent in January to 8.6 percent in February. Santa Rosa County added 344  jobs during the period, with a total of 6,067 persons still unemployed. The year-ago unemployment rate in Santa Rosa County was 9.2 percent.

In Escambia County, Alabama, unemployment dropped slightly from 9.6 percent in February to 9.5 percent in February. That represented 9 people returning to work during the month. There were 1,381 people unemployed in the county during the month.

Florida’s unemployment rate dipped in February to 9.4 percent, the lowest since February 2009, the state labor agency reported Friday.  The rate was 0.2 percentage points lower than in January, and nearly a point and a half lower than a year ago.  The Department of Economic Opportunity said, however, there remained 869,000 people looking for work out of a state labor force of just under 9.3 million, and Florida’s rate remains well above the nation’s jobless rate of 8.3 percent.

Alabama’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, at 7.6 percent in February, was down from January’s rate of 7.8 percent and was below the year-ago rate of 9.3 percent.

The unemployment figures do not include discouraged workers who have given up on their job search or part-time employees who would rather be working full time. If those are added, the jobless rate typically climbs by several points.

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