State Unemployment Rate Stays Put

The nation's preliminary unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in January, up from a revised 4.7 percent in December.

That's up slightly from 3.2 percent in January 2016.

The Maine Department of Labor released January's rate of 3.5 percent on Monday, down from 3.8 percent in December and one year ago, the lowest rate since March 2001.

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Here is the full list in order of unemployment rates in the Tennessee Valley from lowest to highest.

The region's unemployment rate has returned to levels last seen in the months leading up to the last recession, which began to hit the local labor market in 2008. The Buffalo Niagara region added jobs at a 1 percent annual pace previous year - the fastest pace since 1999 - according to revised data released last week by the Labor Department. The general pattern this chart shows is that the best performing states have unemployment rates about 3% lower, or around half, of the worst performing states. Therefore, nonfarm payroll employment is really a count of the number of jobs, rather than the number of persons employed.

Alabama had the third-highest unemployment rate in the country with Alaska at 6.5 percent and New Mexico at 6.7 percent at higher jobless rates, according to the Labor Bureau.

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The unemployment numbers are positive indicators for Alabama's economy, Washington said. The state says in January the number of unemployed reached about 24,300, down 1,300 over the a year ago.

"I'm sorry for these employees that they will be laid off as a result of the consolidation, but the Department of Labor is very much committed to working with all of the folks who are affected to help find employment for them", Kurrle said. Still, overall employment rose by about 6,400 to 2.05 million. Average weekly earnings were up over the year by $21.08.

Employment information for February is scheduled for release March 24.

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