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Unemployment up slightly in Escambia County

Unemployment rose slightly in December in Escambia County.

Statistics released Friday by the Alabama Department of Labor show the county’s number of unemployed residents increased from 943 in November to 985 in December, or from 6.6 percent to 6.9 percent. The December figure is up 0.2 percent from the same period in 2014.

Governor Robert Bentley announced Friday that the state’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted December 2015 unemployment rate is 6.2 percent.

“In January 2015, economists predicted that wage and salary employment would grow in Alabama by 33,800 in 2015, and we surpassed that number by more than 10,000 jobs,” Bentley said. “Employers are hiring in Alabama, and these numbers prove it. We will continue our efforts to recruit and add jobs to the economy in 2016.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby at 4.1 percent;, Elmore and Lee at 4.9 percent; and Autuaga, Cullman, and St. Clair at 5.0 percent.