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Alabama’s August jobless rate drops significantly

Alabama's unemployment rate dropped more than two points from 7.9 to 5.6 percent between July and August, according to the Alabama Department of Labor.
Alabama's unemployment rate dropped more than two points from 7.9 to 5.6 percent between July and August, according to the Alabama Department of Labor.(Source: WBRC)
Published: Sep. 19, 2020 at 5:27 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama’s preliminary unemployment rate dropped significantly in August to 5.6 percent. That’s down from 7.9 percent the month before and off from highs of 13.8 percent reached in April at the height of the economic shutdown.

Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said August’s rate represents 127,186 unemployed people, compared to the 176,556 who were out of work in July.

“We are continuing to see our initial claims drop, staying under 10,000 for the past several weeks,” Washington said.

While the state is recovering from the shutdown, it still has a considerable ways to go to reach the historic lows it set before the pandemic. In Aug. 2019, Alabama was sitting at 2.8 percent unemployment, about half the current rate, with approximately 62,000 people out of work.

Alabama's August 2020 unemployment map by county.
Alabama's August 2020 unemployment map by county.(Source: Alabama Department of Labor)

“We regained another 22,200 jobs this month,” Washington said, “but are still down more than 86,000 from this time last year.”

Gov. Kay Ivey reacted positively to the jobs report, saying it is “certainly good news,” but understands more has to be done.

“We have worked extremely hard to open Alabama’s businesses safely, and to put our hard-working families back to work,” Ivey said. “We know that challenges remain, and we will endeavor to meet them.”

Every county and metro area in the state saw its unemployment rate drop in August, ADOL said.

Clay County had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.4 percent while Wilcox and Lowndes counties have the state’s highest rates at 14.8 and 13.8 percents, respectively.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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