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Lowndes unemployment goes from fifth to tie for fourth highest in state in July

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

While Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced on Friday, Aug. 17 that Alabama broke its employment record for the third month in a row, despite a slight improvement, Lowndes County’s unemployment rate actually went from fifth highest to a tie for fourth highest in the state with Dallas and Greene counties.

According to the latest numbers from the Alabama Department of Labor released Friday, Lowndes’ preliminary July unemployment rate of 8.4 percent was actually .2 percent lower than June’s revised rate of 8.6 percent and a full percent lower than July 2017’s rate of 9.4 percent.

Yet, the county went from fifth highest in unemployment to fourth highest with Wilcox, highest at 11.2 percent, Clarke second highest at 9.1 percent and Perry third highest at 8.6 percent. Dallas and Green were tied with Lowndes at 8.4 percent.

In July,

According to the Alabama Department of Labor, in Alabama, 2,105,513 people were counted as employed, up from June’s count of 2,098,121, and up from July 2017’s count of 2,077,406, representing a yearly increase of 28,107.

In July, 90,987 people were counted as unemployed, compared to 89,302 in June and 89,858 in July 2017.

“We continue to break employment records in Alabama,” said Washington. “Nearly 30,000 more people are working now than they were last year. The message is clear, Alabama: we have jobs!”

Washington said, “Those jobs are coming with higher wages. We’ve seen wages increase both over the month and over the year. In fact, workers in Alabama are earning more weekly than they have in the past 11 years.”

Total private average weekly earnings rose to $830.55 in July, up from $815.97 in June, and up from $798.62 in July 2017.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 22,200, with gains in the manufacturing sector (+8,300), the professional and business services sector (+6,700), and the leisure and

hospitality sector (+5,200), among others.

The preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July is 4.1percent, which is unchanged from June’s rate, and equal to July 2017’s rate.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 3.1 percent, Cullman County at 3.5 percent and Marshall, Elmore and Baldwin counties at 3.7 percent.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are Vestavia Hills at 2.7 percent, Hoover at 3.0 percent and Homewood and Alabaster at 3.1 percent.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Selma at 9.3 percent, Prichard at 8.8 percent and Anniston at 6.0percent.