By Mary Sell, Alabama Daily News
Alabama’s unemployment rate in the first month of 2021 was 4.3%, down from a revised December 2020 4.7% and up from the pre-COVID January 2020 rate of 2.7%.
That’s the lowest level since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic a year ago, the state said Monday.
“As we begin a new year, it’s encouraging to see our monthly unemployment rate drop, marking a new record low since the pandemic began,” Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “While we are still not where we were before this year of massive change, we are making progress. More people were employed this month, and fewer were unemployed, which is always good news.”
January’s rate represents 2,160,347 employed persons, compared to 2,157,736 in December and 2,180,872 in January 2020.
January’s rate represents 97,726 unemployed persons, compared to 106,318 in December and 59,405 in January 2020.
Wage and salary employment decreased in January by 28,600.
“It is not uncommon for the number of jobs to drop from December to January,” Washington said. “This happens nearly every year and is related to holiday and seasonal employment ending. Combined with the extraordinary circumstances of the last year, it’s not surprising to see job losses. However, the trends of the past few months indicate that we will likely soon begin to see the jobs number climb again.”
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby, 2.3%; Blount, 2.4% and Limestone and Cullman, 2.5%.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills, 1.9%, Alabaster and Homewood, 2.0%, and Madison 2.2%.