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Unemployment increases in Escambia, across state

By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP – Managing Editor
Escambia County saw an increase in unemployment during the month of November according to the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.
Along with a slight increase from October to November, there was over a one percent increase from November 2001.
According to ADIR, Escambia County's unemployed rose from 1,400 in October to 1,440 in November. That is an increase from 8.2 percent to 8.5 percent.
In November 2001, the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent with 1,250 workers unemployed.
Of the county's 17,050-member workforce, 15,650 had jobs in November.
The state also saw an increase in November. The rate increased to 5.8 percent in November from the 5.6 percent rate of October. However, the rate statewide is lower than it was one year ago when it was 5.9 percent.
November's state rate represents 126,100 unemployed workers.
Nearly 7,000 Alabamians are currently receiving extended benefits which represents over $1 million a week that is returned to the Alabama economy. The 13-week extended benefit program began in March as part of the federal Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002. The 13 weeks are in addition to the regular 26 weeks of unemployment compensation benefits for those who have lost their job through no fault of their own. Congress may renew the program when it reconvenes in January.
The comparable national unemployment rate for November is 6 percent, an increase from the October rate of 5.7 percent and higher than the year-ago rate of 5.6 percent.
Annual job losses in Alabama centered in manufacturing (-7,000), trade (-4,900) and transportation and public utilities (-3,900). Job growth over the year occurred mainly in construction (+1,300), mining (+400) and government (+200).