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Alabama unemployment rate continues downward trend in August

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

Alabama’s unemployment rate continued to tick downward in August to 3.1%, down from 3.2% in July and 7.1% in August 2020.

“Alabama continues our streak of dropping unemployment, getting more of our people back to work and able to provide for their families, and we are seeing our jobs count and wages consistently rise,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a written statement this morning. “Employers in Alabama have jobs to fill, and they’re doing so at a good pace. We’re proud of the progress Alabama is making as we continue to overcome the challenges we faced due to the pandemic. Alabama is working again, and we know our work is not done yet.”

The rate hit a pandemic high of 13.2% in April 2020. It was in the 2% range prior to the virus’ arrival in the state and subsequent slowdowns and shutdowns.

August’s rate represents 69,005 unemployed persons, compared to 71,678 in July and 156,709 in August 2020. This is an over-the-year drop of 87,704, according to the Alabama Department of Labor.

“We are working hard every day to reach out to those employers who still need assistance in finding employees, while at the same time working to reach those who are still looking for work, or those who are looking to advance their careers,” Alabama Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said.

Total private average weekly earnings rose to $993.35 in August, an increase from $980.56 in July and $942.57 in August of 2020.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates in August were: 

Shelby,  2.1%; Cullman, 2.3%; and Marshall, Limestone and Blount, 2.4%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates were: Alabaster, Homewood, and Vestavia Hills, 2.0%; Hoover and Madison, 2.2%; and Athens, 2.4%.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox, 11.1%; Lowndes, 9.2%; and Perry, 9.0%.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates were: Selma,9.1%; Prichard, 8.8%; and Bessemer, 6.2%.

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