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Southeast Alabama sees 602 initial unemployment claims filed during second week of May

State wide there were 9,377, with 6,704 being COVID-19 related.
Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - During May 9 through May 15 there were 9,377 initial unemployment claims filed either online or by telephone, according to the Alabama Department of Labor. 6,704 of those claims are estimated to be COVID-19 related.

During this period in Southeast Alabama, there were 602 initial unemployment claims, meaning people who are filing for unemployment for the first time who just lost their job. But jobs are not scarce, right now there are 4,133 jobs available in the Southeast region, according to Southeast Alabama Works! and Grow Southeast Alabama.

“I think there is never a better time than right now to get a job in Dothan, in Houston County and in the Wiregrass,” Dean Mitchell, Executive Director Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, said.

During the second week of May the Wiregrass saw an additional 384 unemployment claims. Houston County having the highest with 189 with 1,849 jobs available within the county. Henry County having the lowest with 28 claims and 76 job openings.

Mitchell said it is a buyer’s market.

“You can find a job anywhere whether it’s retail, restaurant, manufacturing, small business, the choice is yours,” Mitchell said. “So, we’re encouraging folks to get out and see where their skills can help businesses in our community.”

Until positions are filled, several businesses are being forced to adjust their hours due to being short staffed. Mitchell said the businesses creativity during this hardship acts as a testimony.

“And they’ll continue to adapt, but again they’re anxious for folks to get back to work, their anxious to get full staff because again that’s better opportunities and more revenue for them and more revenue for our community,” Mitchell said.

With the great amount of jobs available, Mitchell sends encouragement to anyone on the job hunt.

“Whether you are a college graduate looking for a job, or you’re a high school student looking for a Summer job or getting ready to get out of high school and graduate and not planning to go to college or technical school, now is the time,” Mitchell said.

He said now is about creating opportunities to learn skills and eventually move up in the work force.

“That first job you learn a lot of things and that’s a foundation on which you can build, but it’s also additional revenue for our city which means a better quality of life for all of us,” Mitchell said.

Statewide, the weekly unemployment claims are down by over one-thousand. This is in comparison to claims released for the first week of may, which was 10,841.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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