August unemployment drops to 5.6%

August unemployment drops to 5.6%

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

Alabama’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in August was 5.6%, down from 7.9% in July as the state continues a decline from a COVID-caused April spike to nearly 14%.

“The drop in the unemployment rate is certainly good news for Alabama,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a written release this morning. “We have worked extremely hard to open Alabama’s businesses safely, and to put our hard-working families back to work.  We know that challenges remain, and we will endeavor to meet them so that we can get back to our previous, pre-pandemic record setting employment numbers.”

Alabama Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said the drop in August was larger than previous months’ decrease.

“We are continuing to see our initial claims drop, staying under 10,000 for the past several weeks,” Washington said. “We regained another 22,200 jobs this month but are still down more than 86,000 from this time last year.”

Alabama’s unemployment rate was at a historic low of 2.7% in February.

 

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Clay County, 3.4%; Randolph, Franklin, Marshall, Cullman, Cleburne and Cherokee counties at 3.6%.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 14.8.%, Lowndes County at 13.8% and Greene County at 10.9%.

Labor also noted today that several industries in August had record-high average weekly earnings.