Alabama unemployment rate drops from 13.4% in April to 9.9% in May
The state of Alabama’s unemployment rate dropped dramatically in May as coronavirus precautions loosened and more businesses reopened.
The state’s rate dropped from 13.4% at the end of April to 9.9% by the end of May, marking one of the largest one-month job gains on record.
Though improved, Alabama still has over three times the unemployment of May 2019, which was 3%.
Alabama’s number of persons seeking unemployment insurance fell from 302,535 in April to 221,911 in May.
“This month’s decrease in the unemployment rate reflects that people are returning to work following the pandemic-related shutdown,” said Governor Kay Ivey in a statement accompanying the release of the numbers.
Alabama tied for 16th-lowest unemployment among the 50 states for the month of May. Both Maryland and Minnesota also reported a 9.9% unemployment rate in May.
Alabama’s neighboring state of Georgia placed just ahead in 15th with a 9.7% unemployment rate, while Mississippi and Tennessee both saw unemployment rates over 10.5%.
“While we are still far short of last year’s economic markers, we did show significant improvement over the last month,” said Secretary Fitzgerald Washington.
The industry sectors that hired the most workers were “leisure and hospitality” and “health services.”
According to the Department of Labor, the “[c]ounties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Clay County at 5.6%, Geneva County at 6.3%, and Shelby County at 6.5%” while the “[c]ounties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 19.3%, Lowndes County at 18.3%, and Greene County at 16.4%.”
Ivey concluded, “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.”