MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s unemployment rate is rising.
The state Department of Labor says Alabama’s March unemployment rate is 6.7 percent, which is three-tenths of a percent higher than the February rate. It’s also above the March 2013 rate of 6.6 percent.
The job rate represents 144,628 unemployed people. But the number of people in the labor force also grew by more than 14,000 people, and the number of working Alabamians increased by 7,000.
The state labor commissioner, Tom Surtees, says the unemployment rate is up because of the growth in the labor force.
Surtees says employers reported more than 12,000 additional jobs, and construction showed a gain for the first time in months.
Wilcox County has Alabama’s highest jobless rate at 16.4 percent, and Shelby County is lowest at 4.8 percent.