Alabama unemployment rate climbs to 7.9 percent

Alabama unemployment rate climbs to 7.9 percent
The Alabama unemployment rate climbed to 7.9 percent in July 2020, according to the state's labor department. (Source: WTVM)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama’s unemployment rate climbed from 7.6 percent in June to 7.9 percent in July, according to new data from the Alabama Department of Labor.

Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said the rate represents 176,637 unemployed residents, up by about 10,000 from the previous month.

The latest jobless numbers are also about 2.8 percent higher than the same period in 2019, Washington said, when there were 63,4114 people out of work.

”Following several months of unemployment rate decreases, this month we saw a slight increase in our unemployment rate,” said Washington. “While we can all agree that the economy is definitely recovering, we will continue to have fluctuations as we continue to learn how to navigate in this new pandemic-related reality.”

Alabama’s unemployment rate was at a historic low of 2.7 percent at the beginning of the year but spiked to 12.9 percent as the pandemic took hold. The secretary said Alabama has recovered about half of the 200,000 jobs lost when the state’s economy shutdown.

Clay County reports the lowest unemployment rate at 4.8 percent, closely followed by Cullman at 5.1 percent. Shelby, Randolph, and Marshall counties each sit at 5.3 percent.

Wilcox County has the highest unemployment rate at 19 percent and is closely followed by Lowndes at 18.7 percent. Dallas County’s jobless rate is the third highest at 14.5 percent.

Alabama’s unemployment rate is below the national rate of 10.2 percent.

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