Alabama’s unemployment rate drops to 9.9%

Alabama’s unemployment rate drops to 9.9%

By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama’s unemployment rate was 9.9% for the month of May, the Alabama Department of Labor announced Friday morning.

May’s rate represents an almost four point drop from April’s revised rate of 13.8%.

Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington said more than 80,000 fewer people were counted as unemployed last month, while the number of employed rose by more than 128,000.

Gov. Kay Ivey marked the significance of the progress in a press release Friday.

“While we are nowhere near pre-pandemic levels, a monthly decrease of nearly four percentage points is certainly a positive. Alabama, along with the rest of the nation, will be feeling the impacts brought on by this virus for months to come.  My administration is committed to helping return Alabamians to their jobs safely, and to helping Alabama businesses to reopen and grow,” Ivey said.

According to the department, wage and salary employment increased in May by 42,500. Average weekly earnings increased to a record high in May, rising to $905.25 per week, representing an increase of $66.43 over the year.

Statistics released by the department show that more than 130,000 initial jobless claims were filed in the month of May. Those statistics include the last days of April.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Clay County at 5.6%, Geneva County at 6.3%, and Shelby County at 6.5%.  Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 19.3%, Lowndes County at 18.3%, and Greene County at 16.4%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills at 5.2%, Homewood at 5.4%, and Madison at 6.2%.  Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Prichard at 18.6%, Selma at 17.1%, and Gadsden at 15.7%.