Alabama's unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent in February.
The rate announced by the state Department of Labor is up from 6.9 percent in January and is equal to the rate a year ago. The number of unemployed people looking for work grew by more than 6,000 from January.
Alabama's preliminary unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent in July, up from 7.8 percent in June. Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees announced the new jobless figures in a statement Friday. He said the state's jobless rate represents 179,535 unemployed persons, compared to 168,602 last month and 202,311 in July 2011. Surtees says the state agency sees more partial unemployment claims in July and December than any other month, and last month was no exception.