Good sign: Jobless rate falls in state

Published 2:23 am Thursday, August 3, 2017

Covington County’s jobless rate was more than a percentage point lower in June of 2016 than in the same period for 2017, according to data released by the Alabama Department of Labor.

The local unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in June of 2016, compared with 7.3 percent in June of 2017. The rate ticked up from 5.3 percent in May. The 6.2 percent rate reflects 971 unemployed people.

The local rates also were higher than the state unemployment rate, which dropped to 4.6 percent, down from May’s rate of 4.9 percent, and significantly lower than June 2016’s rate of 5.8 percent. Statewide, June’s rate represents 100,376 unemployed persons, compared to 107,223 in May and 125,000 in June 2016. There were 2,077,275 people were as employed in June.

Covington County’s rates were the 18th-highest in the state, slightly higher than rates in counties to the east, and the same or lower than counties to the west.

Here’s how neighboring counties stack up:

  • Butler – 6.2 percent, representing 573 unemployed persons.
  • Conecuh – 7.4 percent, representing 337 unemployed people.
  • Escambia – 5.7 percent, representing 840 unemployed people.
  • Crenshaw – 5.1 percent, representing 324 unemployed people.
  • Coffee – 5.2 percent, representing 1,077 unemployed people.
  • Geneva – 4.9 percent, representing 542 unemployed people.

“Alabama’s unemployment continues to drop, and our economy continues to add jobs. As of now, we are only two-tenths of a percentage point away from catching up to the national unemployment rate,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “Even though our numbers are improving, I continue to pledge to work even harder to make sure that any Alabamian who wants a job can find one.”

Alabama has added 46,100 private sector jobs since January, and the over the year job growth rate was 1.8 percent, the highest it’s been in 11 years.

Wage and salary employment increased in June by 6,000 to 2,016,400. Monthly gains were seen in the leisure and hospitality sector (+6,000), the other services sector (+1,200), and the professional and business services sector (+1,000), among others.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 3.8 percent, Elmore, Cullman, and Baldwin counties at 4.3 percent, and Marshall County at 4.5 percent, Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 13.5 percent, Clarke County at 10.6 percent, and Perry County at 10.2 percent.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills at 3.2 percent, Hoover at 3.6 percent, and Homewood at 3.7 percent. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Prichard and Selma at 10.1 percent, Anniston at 7.0 percent, and Mobile and Bessemer at 6.5 percent.