Covington County records slightly lower unemployment rate for May

Published 9:15 am Saturday, June 29, 2024

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Covington County’s unemployment rate dropped in May, according to preliminary, non-seasonally adjusted figures compiled by the Alabama Department of Labor.

The county’s unemployment rate for May was 2.7 percent, down from 2.9 percent in April. It does reflect an increase from May 2023 when the county’s rate stood at 2.2 percent.

The numbers represent a civilian workforce within the county of over 14,847 with 14,453 employed workers.

Unemployment rates for neighboring counties are: Butler, 2.8 percent, down from April’s 3.2; Coffee County, 2.6 percent, down from 2.9 percent; Conecuh County, 3.2 percent, down from 3.3; Crenshaw County, 2.5 percent, down from 3.3; Escambia County, 2.8 percent, down from 3.1; and Geneva County, 2.4 percent, down from 2.6.

Statewide, unemployment decreased slightly from April to May, coming in at 2.4 percent, down from 2.6 in the previous month.

May’s statewide rate represents 55,179 unemployed persons, compared to 61,570 in April. The number of unemployed is up from May 2023 when the number wsas 48,027.

Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said Alabama’s labor force participation rate for May held steady at 57.5 percent. The percentage of prime-age workers increased by one-tenth of a percentage point to 79.2 percent over the month. Over the year, this number increased by one and six-tenths percentage points from 77.6 percent. Prime-age workers are those aged 25-54 years.

“Our over the year growth in prime age workers participating in the labor force continues to be encouraging,” said Washington. “We’re also seeing record high numbers in our civilian labor force and the number of people who are working. In May, nearly 38,000 more people decided to enter into the job market than at the same time last year.”

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 49,200 to 2,208,400, a new record high, with gains in the private education and health sector (+11,500), the government sector (+9,200), and the manufacturing sector (+8,600), among others.

“This job growth is indicative of positive trends in our economy,” continued Washington. “As we continue to set higher and higher record jobs count numbers, we’re also seeing wage growth in many sectors, with some hitting new record highs.”

The trade, transportation, and utilities sector reached a new record high weekly wage with $881.01, up $56.88 from last year.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 1.8 percent, Morgan County at 1.9, and Cullman, Elmore, Limestone, Madison, and Marshall counties at 2 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 6.8 percent, Perry County at 4.5, and Dallas County at 4.4.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Trussville at 1.6 percent, Homewood and Vestavia Hills at 1.7, and Alabaster, Hoover, and Madison at 1.8 percent.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 5.3 percent, Prichard at 4.3, and Bessemer at 3.4 percent.