Unemployment rate in Alabama falls to 5.8%
Alabama’s unemployment rate fell almost an entire percentage point last month, moving from 6.7% in September to 5.8% in October.
Alabama’s total number of persons claiming unemployment in October was 130,329, down from 153,338 in September.
Effects from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continue to dampen the state’s economy compared to a year ago. In October 2019, Alabama’s unemployment rate was 2.7%, with 61,210 persons filing for unemployment at that time.
Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL) Secretary Fitzgerald Washington remarked in a statement that his department is “glad to see nearly a drop of almost an entire percentage point in our unemployment rate this month.”
“We will continue to see fluctuations in these economic indicators as pandemic concerns remain, but this month showed growth in both the number of jobs we are supporting and the number of people who are working,” Washington added.
Job gains were made in the construction sector and the trade, transportation, and utilities sector. The biggest gain, around 9,300 jobs, was in the professional and business services sector.
The leisure and hospitality sector, education and services sector, and the government sector remain hard hit during COVID-19, with tens of thousands of jobs lost on a year over year basis across those sectors.
Per the ADOL, “The number of people counted as employed in October was 2,121,505, up from 2,119,297 in September, but down from the 2,186,771 measured in October 2019.”
Counties that came out of October with the lowest unemployment rates were largely more rural counties in the northern area of the state, such as Franklin and Cullman Counties at 3.2%, Marshall and Blount Counties at 3.3%, and Dekalb and Cherokee Counties at 3.4%.
Long a leader in many quality of life statistics for Alabama, Shelby County enjoyed a 3.3% unemployment rate in October. The smaller Randolph County in the center of the state also hit the 3.3% mark.
Among Alabama’s four biggest counties, Madison ranked best at 4.4%, followed by Jefferson at 6.3%, Mobile at 8.0% and Montgomery at 8.6%.
The worst performing counties in the state were Lowndes and Wilcox Counties, both of which came in with 14.9% unemployment rates. Perry and Dallas Counties placed just above those two, with just over 10% unemployment in both counties.