County jobless rate jumps

Published 8:37 am Wednesday, July 23, 2003

By By BILL CRIST Publisher
Although not as bleak as a year ago, the unemployment rate in Escambia jumped dramatically from May to June.
Preliminary figures released this week by the Alabama Dept. of Industial Relations show our county's unemployment rate has risen to nine percent, compared to 7.5 percent in May. Those figures compare to an overall rate of 5.7 percent statewide and 6.4 percent nationally.
Janice Grayson, manager at the local office of the Dept. of Industial Relations, said said the unemployment is based on a formula that takes into account the number of benefit claims made during a month, but also factors in persons who have exhausted their benefits.
She said that although she was unaware of any plant closings, that closings in surrounding counties, or even Mobile, would impact the unemployment rate in Escambia County.
According to state statistics, an additional 290 people became unemployed between May and June.
An interesting twist on the numbers is that there were actually more people employed in June than May, although a greater number of people also were unemployed.
That is because of seasonal employment for teenagers and jobs related to agriculture.
According to Grayson, the employment office in Brewton is equipped to help people gain employment through a variety of services.

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