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Alabama's employment continues to decline more rapidly than elsewhere


AP: Alabama's employment continues to decline. 

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report on the unemployment rates in each state. Alabama's unemployment rate in January was 11.1 percent, up from 10.5 percent in December and up from 8.1 percent from a year ago. In comparison, the U.S. unemployment rate was 9.7 percent, down from 10 percent in December.

Employment increased in 31 states and the District of Columbia, while employment decreased in 18 states. Alabama was one of the hardest-hit states.

Alabama lost the fourth highest number of jobs in January, at a 3 percent loss. Only Kentucky, Missouri, and Nevada lost more jobs than Alabama, with 5 percent job losses. These states continue to lose jobs in real estate, manufacturing, and banking. 

North Dakota has consistently enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate, and the latest figures are no different. North Dakota's January unemployment rate was 4.2 percent. Nebraska and South Dakota also experienced low unemployment rates, at 4.6 and 4.8 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Michigan has consistenly experienced the highest unemployment rate, and the latest figures are no different. Michigan's January unemployment rate was at 14.3 percent, which, although still quite high, is a vast improvement over the 15.5 rate the state had experienced over the previous two months. Nevada had the second highest unemployment, at 13 percent.

Although the unemployment rate remains high, there is some hope on the horizon. The most recent report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates that GDP is growing at a healthy 5.9 percent. A growing economy will eventually require more workers to support the higher level of output, which is good news for job seekers. 

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