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Alabama’s unemployment rate increased to 7.9 percent in July

The state’s unemployment rate increased from 7.6 percent in June to 7.9 percent in July, according to the Alabama Department of Labor. That’s down from 9.6 percent in May.

July’s rate represents 176,637 unemployed people, compared to 166,668 in June. That compares to a July 2019 rate of 2.8 percent, or 63,414 unemployed people.

“Following several months of unemployment rate decreases, this month we saw a slight increase in our unemployment rate,” said ADL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “While we can all agree that the economy is definitely recovering, we will continue to have fluctuations as we continue to learn how to navigate in this new pandemic-related reality.”

Nearly 200,000 jobs were lost from March to April, when the most severe layoffs and shutdowns occurred. About half of those have been recovered, Washington said.

The most monthly gains in July were seen in the leisure and hospitality sector, followed by the manufacturing sector, then professional and business services and the education and health services sector.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are:

  • Clay County – 4.8 percent
  • Cullman County – 5.1 percent
  • Shelby, Randolph and Marshall Counties – 5.3 percent

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are:

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  • Wilcox County – 19 percent
  • Lowndes County – 18.7 percent
  • Dallas County – 14.5 percent

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are:

  • Vestavia Hills – 4.3 percent
  • Madison  – 4.6 percent
  • Homewood – 4.7 percent

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are:

  • Prichard – 21.2 percent
  • Selma – 17.5 percent
  • Bessemer and Mobile – 14 percent 

Unemployment rates are calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Micah Danney is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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