Friday, Gov. Kay Ivey's office and the Department of Labor reported February's job data with slight improvements in the labor force participation and unemployment rates.

Workforce participation issues have plagued the state in recent months, negating the benefits of the state's sustained run of low unemployment. However, there was a slight improvement, with the state's participation from 56.5% in January to 56.7% in February.

The state's preliminary, seasonally adjusted February unemployment rate is 2.5%, down from January's 2.6% rate.

Shelby County led the way with the state's lowest unemployment rate at 1.7%, followed by Morgan and Madison Counties at 1.9% and St. Clair, Marshall, Limestone, Elmore, Cullman and Blount Counties at 2.0%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox County at 8.0%, Greene County at 5.5% and Dallas County at 5.1%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates were Homewood and Madison at 1.5%, Trussville and Vestavia Hills at 1.6%, and Alabaster, Hoover and Northport at 1.7 %. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates were Selma at 6.5%, Prichard at 4.3% and Bessemer at 3.8%.

Jeff Poor is the executive editor of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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