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Unemployment rate down in Covington County

Covington County recorded a preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3 percent for July, according to the Alabama Department of Labor.

July’s unemployment rate represented a decrease from June’s rate of 3.2 percent and an even bigger decrease from July 2020 when unemployment was at 6.4 percent.

The county’s unemployment was just under the state average of 3.2 percent and represents a civilian work force of 15,074.

The state unemployment rate remains below the national average of 5.4 percent.

“Each month we edge closer and closer to our pre-pandemic unemployment rate,” said Governor Kay Ivey. “Employers have added over 73,000 jobs in the past year, and nearly 83,000 more people are working today than they were last year. Industries that were hit the hardest are seeing employment numbers increase monthly. We’ll keep working as hard as we can to continue this remarkable progress.”

Statewide in July, 2,138,925 people were counted as employed, up 82,577 from July 2020.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 73,100 with the biggest gains seen in leisure and hospitality (+25,400), manufacturing (+11,900), and education and health services (+10,700), among others. Annual losses were seen in construction and mining and logging.

“The Alabama Career Center System continues to connect employers and job seekers through local and regional job fairs. These collaborative community events are targeting industry sectors that still need employees and job seekers looking for new or better opportunities,” said Washington. “Those sectors, along with wages, are hitting new record highs. The average weekly wage for the private sector was up a whopping $64.16 over the year.”

Total private average weekly earnings measured $986.29 in July, a new record high. This represents a yearly increase of $64.16 and a monthly increase of $20.46. Additionally, the leisure and hospitality sector hit a new record high, with weekly wages rising to $402.98, up $51.56 over the year, and $13.37 over the month.

Unemployment rates for neighboring counties are: Butler, 5.5 percent; Coffee, 2.8 percent; Conecuh, 5 percent; Crenshaw, 3.1 percent; Escambia, 3.9 percent; and Geneva, 2.7 percent. All those counties saw at least some decrease, except for Butler, which remained at 5.5 for the second consecutive month.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 2.1 percent, Blount County at 2.2 percent, and Cullman and Marshall counties at 2.3 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 11.2 percent, Lowndes County at 9.7 percent, and Perry County at 9.4 percent.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are Homewood at 1.8 percent, Vestavia Hills at 2.1 percent, and Hoover and Madison at 2.2 percent.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Selma at 9.4 percent, Prichard at 8.1 percent, and Anniston 6.2 percent.