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Labor: December unemployment decreased to 3.9%

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

Alabama’s unemployment rate decreased to 3.9% in the last month of 2020 after hitting a decades-high of nearly 13% earlier in the year shocked by the coronavirus pandemic.

December’s rate compares to 4.4% in November and a record-low of 2.7% in December 2019. The newest rate represents 87,534 unemployed people, compared to 100,374 in November and 61,530 in December 2019, the Alabama Department of Labor said today.

“This is the lowest unemployment rate Alabama has seen since the pandemic began, and I’m glad to see us close out 2020 on a good note,” Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said in a written statement. “While we are pleased to see our rate continue to drop, we know there is still a lot more work to be done. More than 26,000 Alabamians are unemployed now than at the same time last year.

“We are still down more than 34,000 jobs from last year.  Our work in 2021 will be focused on continuing this recovery.”

Wage and salary employment grew in December by 6,200.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Cullman, 2.1%; Shelby, Marshall and Franklin, 2.2%; and Dekalb and Cleburne, 2.3%.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox, 10.6%; Lowndes, 10.2%; and Perry, 7.8%.

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