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Lowndes County unemployment rate state’s 2nd highest

Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington recently announced through a press release that the state’s June unemployment rate is 7.5 percent, lower than May’s rate of 9.6 percent.

It is still substantially higher than June 2019’s rate of 2.9 percent. The June 2020 rate of 7.5 percent represents 165, 770 unemployed persons, down from 216,043 in May and up compared to 65,389 in June 2019.

Lowndes County had an unemployment rate of 16.9 percent in June, representing 636 unemployed persons. Lowndes County had the second-highest unemployment rate for June. Only Wilcox County had a higher rate at 18.5 percent, 566 persons.

Washington gives context to the statistics in the press release.

“We continue to make gains in our unemployment rate but remain above the record low rates we were experiencing prior to this pandemic,” said Washington. “People are returning to work as the economy further reopens, but we are beginning to see slight rises in the number of initial unemployment claims filed each week.”

According to the ADOL, wage and salary employment grew by 42, 300 in June. The leisure and hospitality sector saw the largest gains (+24,100), followed by the trade, transportation and utilities sector (+8,900), the professional and business services sector (+6,900) and the manufacturing sector (+4,800).

Wage and salary employment has decreased in the state by 119,500 in 2020, with the leisure and hospitality sector sustaining substantial losses (-40,700), along with the government sector (-24,500) and the professional and business services sector (-21,400).

Locally, Butler County had an unemployment rate of 10.8 percent in June, representing 1,021 unemployed persons. Crenshaw County had an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent, representing 444 persons.