Covington unemployment decreases in December

Published 9:15 am Friday, January 28, 2022

Alabama Department of Labor statistics show that Covington County’s unemployment rate continues to decrease.

The county’s unemployment rate for December is 2.3 percent, which is a decrease from November’s 2.6 percent, and a large decrease from December 2020 when the county’s unemployment stood at 2.9 percent.

The seasonally-adjusted rate is calculated from a civilian workforce of 15,136.

The county’s unemployment is below the state average for December, which came in at 3.1 percent and did not change from November.

“For five months now, our unemployment rate has held steady at 3.1 percent,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “We all know of the challenges facing today’s workforce, most of which are still pandemic related, and we’re grateful that Alabama is weathering these challenges. Since last year, more than 36,000 people are no longer counted as unemployed, and we saw more than 7,000 additional people shift to the employed column since last month.”

Washington added that wages are going up for Alabama workers.

“Total private weekly wages are up $26.65 over the year, manufacturing weekly wages are up $85.17 over the year, and the Professional & Business Services and Leisure & Hospitality sectors both saw new record high weekly wages in December,” he said.

Total private weekly wages were $973.41 in December, representing a $26.65 yearly increase. Manufacturing weekly wages were $1,258.17, representing an $85.17 yearly increase.  In the Professional & Business Services sector, a new record high weekly wage was recorded at $1,245.05, and the Leisure & Hospitality sector also saw a new record high weekly wage at $412.25,  an increase of $57.94 over the year.

In December, 65 of 67 counties saw their unemployment rate decrease or remain the same in December. All 67 counties saw unemployment rate decreases over the year.

December unemployment for neighboring Alabama counties are Butler, 4.4 percent; Crenshaw, 2.7 percent; Coffee, 2.3 percent; Geneva, 2.3 percent; Escambia, 3.1 percent; and Conecuh, 2.3 percent.

Alabama counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby and Cullman counties at 1.8 percent, Marshall and Blount Counties at 1.9 percent, and Limestone, Dekalb, Clay, and Cherokee counties at 2 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 10.3 percent, Lowndes County at 8.4 percent, and Perry County at 7.2 percent.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are Athens at 1.4 percent, Alabaster at 1.7 percent, and Homewood, Madison, and Vestavia Hills at 1.8 percent.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Selma at 8.1 percent, Prichard at 6.9 percent, and Anniston at 5.1 percent.