Unemployment rates again on the rise across Alabama

Published 2:36 pm Friday, October 16, 2020

The Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL) released unemployment figures for September Friday, which showed an increase over August’s rate of 5.6 percent to 6.6 percent a month later.

September’s rate represents nearly 149,000 unemployed Alabamians, over 20,000 more than August.

“As we continue to gauge the economic impacts of this pandemic, we expect to see fluctuations in our unemployment rate,” said ADOL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington in a press release. “In September, we saw fewer people entering the labor force, fewer people working and more who were counted as unemployed. All of those factors will increase the unemployment rate. We will continue to work with employers and the unemployed to put Alabamians back to work.”

The trend of rising rates was felt in Dallas County, where September’s unemployment rate of 11.7 percent was more than a point higher than August’s rate and narrowly kept the county off the list of counties experiencing the state’s highest unemployment rates – Wilcox, Lowndes and Greene counties had the state’s highest unemployment rates, at 17 percent, 15.9 percent and 11.9 percent respectively.

Selma, however, was once again listed among the state’s “major cities” experiencing  the highest unemployment rates – Selma’s rate of 14.2 percent put it between Prichard, at 17.2 percent, and Bessemer, at 12.2 percent on the list.

However, according to Washington, the unemployment report did contain positive signs.

“We did see an increase in the number of jobs the economy is supporting, with a gain of a little more than 9,000,” Washington said. “We hope to see hiring pick up over the next couple of months as we approach the holiday season.”