Unemployment in Cov. County down 1 percent from last month

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 22, 2019

A recent report from the state shows that Covington County is following the trend of decreasing unemployment rates.

In the month of April, the unemployment rate in Covington County was 4.2 percent. In May, that rate dropped a whole percentage point to 3.2 percent.

Last year in May, the unemployment rate in Covington County was 3.9 percent.

Covington County Economic Development Commission President Rick Clifton said that the decrease is significant for the county.

“We do have a lot of places in Covington County looking for people,” Clifton said. “My thought is that they have filled some of those jobs and that is why the number is decreasing.”

He said that companies like Dyncorp coming into the city have helped the unemployment rate go down.

“Dyncorp has already started hiring people,” Clifton said. “They have hired about 20, and they should be hiring about 20 more. Any kind of uptick in a new group coming in, like Dyncorp, or one of our existing businesses, bringing in people can make a significant difference, and that’s probably what’s happened. I don’t know of any dramatic things happening, just a lot of little things accumulating.”

With new businesses coming into the county like Popeyes, Clifton thinks that this could keep driving the number down.

“Unemployment is great, but we need people that want to get into the labor pool,” Clifton said. “We need people to come into our community so we can grow our labor pool. At 3.2 percent, that is almost considered full employment. With that being said, we also need people that are available for new businesses coming in. This is a good sign that the number is decreasing though because it shows that the people that have wanted a job are getting one.”

Alabama’s unemployment rate has fallen to a record-tying 3.7 percent for the month of May. In May 2018, the unemployment rate in Alabama was 4.1 percent.

Overall employment rose to more than 2.1 million people, which represents a yearly gain of 40,720 workers in Alabama.

Shelby County in Birmingham has Alabama’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.1 percent, followed by Marshal County at 2.3 percent.

Wilcox County in west Alabama has the state’s highest jobless rate at 6.6 percent. Greene County is next at 5.7 percent.