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Alabama’s June unemployment rate drops to 7.5%

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.5% in June, continuing a slow improvement from a COVID-19-caused 13.8% in April.

May’s revised rate was 9.6%, the Alabama Department of Labor announced Friday morning. Before the virus hit, Alabama’s unemployment rate was at a historic low of 2.7% in February.

“We continue to make gains in our unemployment rate but remain above the record low rates we were experiencing prior to this pandemic,” said Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington. “People are returning to work as the economy further reopens, but we are beginning to see slight rises in the number of initial unemployment claims filed each week.”

Washington said 50,273 fewer people were counted as unemployed last month, while the number of employed rose by 42,300.

Statistics released by the department show that 20,505 initial jobless claims were filed either online or by telephone during this period. 14,441 of those claims are COVID-19 related.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Clay County at 4.6%, Shelby, Marshall, and Cullman Counties at 5.4%, and Geneva and DeKalb Counties at 5.6%.  Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 18.5%, Lowndes County at 16.9%, and Perry County at 14.1%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills at 4.5%, Homewood at 4.8%, and Madison at 5.1%.  Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Prichard at 18.8%, Selma at 15.3%, and Bessemer and Mobile at 13.0%.

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