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Claims continue weekly climb in county

Weekly first-time jobless claims continued their multi-week ascent in Dallas County last week, according to numbers released by the Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL) Thursday – the most recent numbers represent four weeks of steady increases in the county.

According to the report, 157 initial unemployment claims were filed in Dallas County last week compared to 139 the week before – that number was an increase over the 109 reported during the week of Feb. 27, which was a slight increase over the 105 logged during the week of Feb. 20.

The latest numbers represent the highest weekly claims numbers in Dallas County since it hit 165 during the week of Jan. 9.

The same was true across the state where, in total, more than 16,500 claims were filed last week compared to just under 13,600 the week before, marking the highest weekly jobless numbers in the state since last July.

Of the claims filed last week, more than 11,000 were related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

That trend held nationwide, as weekly unemployment claims total 770,000 last week, up from the 725,000 reported the week before, while continuing jobless claims remained relatively unchanged at 4.12 million – the total number of Americans receiving benefits under pandemic-related programs came in around 18 million, as of a Feb. 27 report from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Regionally, many counties continue to see rising weekly claims numbers – Autauga County saw its numbers increase for the third week in a row, climbing from 123 during the week of March 6 to 144 last week, while Lowndes County’s numbers declined slightly to 31 last week compared to 38 the week before.

Marengo County, like Autauga County, saw its numbers increase for the third week in a row, inching up from 45 during the week of March 6 to 55 in Thursday’s report, while Perry County’s numbers notched down by double digits, coming in at 26 last week compared to 40 the week before.

Wilcox County saw only a moderate increase from 41 during the week of March 6 to 45 last week.

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, Jefferson County logged the state’s highest weekly numbers last week, with 3,161 residents filing first-time unemployment claims last week, and the unclassified sector of the workforce made up the largest share of job losses, with more than 7,000 last week.

Beyond that, the administrative and support and waste management and remediation services sector, as well as the retail sector, each shed more than 1,300 jobs last week, while the manufacturing sector lost more than 1,200 and the healthcare and social assistance sector dropped more than 1,100.