MARSHALL CO., Ala. (WHNT) — The unemployment rate in Marshall County has continued to rise over the last two months, but county leaders say there’s a good sign amidst that increase.
Before the Pilgrim’s plant in Boaz shut down in January it was Marshall County’s biggest employer. Some of the employees got jobs at the Guntersville plant, but hundreds of others were left looking for work.
Marshall County Economic Development Council President Matt Arnold says the latest unemployment numbers show it.
“It has gone up, in the last two months, by about one percent in January and a little over one percent in February,” Arnold says.
Arnold says the unemployment numbers always increase some at the beginning of the year, so coupled with the closure, Arnold says the numbers they’re seeing are what they expected.
Another set of numbers are also on the rise, and Arnold says it’s a good sign. “I think the February numbers deal with the rising of the labor participation rate, and that’s a good thing, our labor participation rate is on the rise,” Arnold says, “That means more people in Marshall County feel like they can find a job so they’re out looking for a job.”
Arnold says while the unemployment numbers are high, that increase in the labor participation rate is a good thing. “It shows that you have a community that is confident, that things are happening, and are moving forward,” Arnold says.
Arnold says the unemployment numbers also went up in DeKalb and Etowah Counties as the residents who worked at the Boaz plant lost their jobs.