Lowndes unemployment dips below 10 percent, remains third highest in state

Published 11:44 am Saturday, April 22, 2017

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

Lowndes County’s preliminary unemployment rate dipped below 10 percent in March, and while every county in the state saw improvement over February’s revised rate, Lowndes unemployment remains third-highest in the state.

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Lowndes’ March preliminary unemployment rate improved 1.4 percent from a revised 10.7 percent in February to 9.3 percent, and improved 1.5 percent from a revised rate of 10.8 percent in March of 2016, according to statistics released by the Alabama Department of Labor on Friday, April 21.

Even with Lowndes’ unemployment dip to nearly 9 percent, according to the preliminary figures, Wilcox County is highest at 13.8 percent, Greene and Clarke are second highest at 9.6 percent, Lowndes is third at 9.3 percent, Perry is fourth at 9.0 percent and Monroe is fifth at 8.7 percent.

Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted March unemployment rate is 5.8 percent, down from February’s rate of 6.2 percent, and below March 2016’s rate of 5.9 percent.

“Every county experienced a drop in their unemployment rate over the month, and 66 of our 67 counties saw their rates stay the same or decrease over the year,” Washington said.

“I am encouraged to hear that nearly 13,000 more Alabamians have a job today than did in February. As we work to improve Alabama’s image, these figures are welcomed news, but they

are just a start,” said Governor Kay Ivey. “I am honored that the first employment numbers announced during my administration are on the right side of the ledger.”

“The month’s drop in the unemployment rate came about because more people entered the labor force looking for work, and most of them found it,” Washington added.

“Thirteen thousand more people are working today in Alabama than last month and nearly 43,000 more are working now than in March of last year.

“We are also very close to reaching an employment milestone: a wage and salary employment figure of two million. We’re only 10,000 jobs away from reaching this goal, which hasn’t been met since June 2008 and has, in fact, only been achieved 13 times over the past 10 years.”

According to the Alabama Department of Labor, counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.0 percent, Elmore County at 4.4 percent, and Cullman County at 4.5 percent.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are Vestavia Hills at 3.5 percent, Homewood at 3.7 percent, and Hoover at 3.8 percent.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Selma and Prichard at 9.5 percent, Bessemer at 7.4 percent, and Anniston at 6.8 percent.