MONTGOMERY – Alabama’s May unemployment, which was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, is 9.9%, down from April’s revised rate of 13.9% and above May 2019’s rate of 3%, the state department of labor said Friday.
May’s rate represents 221,811 unemployed persons, compared to 302,535 in April and 68,057 in May 2019.
In May, all Wiregrass counties were under the state’s overall rate and April’s rates, including: Barbour County, 8.9%; Houston County, 8.4%; Henry County, 7.6%; Dale and Covington counties, 7.4%; Coffee and Pike counties, 6.9%; and Geneva County at 6.3%. The two area cities included in the labor department list show Dothan at 9% and Enterprise at 8%, both down almost three percentage points from April.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Clay County, 5.6%; Geneva County, 6.3%; and Shelby County, 6.5%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County, 19.3%; Lowndes County, 18.3%; and Greene County, 16.4%.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills, 5.2%; Homewood, 5.4%; and Madison, 6.2%. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Prichard, 18.6%; Selma, 17.1%; and Gadsden, 15.7%.
“This month’s decrease in the unemployment rate reflects that people are returning to work following the pandemic-related shutdown,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “While we are nowhere near pre-pandemic levels, a monthly decrease of nearly four percentage points is certainly a positive. Alabama, along with the rest of the nation, will be feeling the impacts brought on by this virus for months to come.”
Alabama Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said, “While we are still far short of last year’s economic markers, we did show significant improvement over the last month. More than 80,000 fewer people were counted as unemployed last month, while the number of employed rose by more than 128,300.”