State’s July unemployment rate 7.9%; Cullman County 2nd lowest in state at 5.1%

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL) Secretary Fitzgerald Washington on Friday announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted July unemployment rate is 7.9%, up from June’s rate of 7.6%, and above July 2019’s rate of 2.8%.  July’s rate represents 176,637 unemployed persons, compared to 166,668 in June and 63,414 in July 2019.

Cullman County’s July unemployment rate, the second lowest in the state, is 5.1%, down from June’s rate of 5.4% and higher than July 2019’s rate of 2.6%.

“Following several months of unemployment rate decreases, this month we saw a slight increase in our unemployment rate,” said 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.”

Wage and salary employment increased in July by 10,900.  Monthly gains were seen in the leisure and hospitality sector (+5,800), the manufacturing sector (+4,300), and the professional and business services sector (+4,200), among others.  Over the year, wage and salary employment has decreased by 101,800, with losses in the leisure and hospitality sector (-33,700), the professional and business services sector (-19,400), and the education and health services sector (-19,000), among others.

“Nearly 200,000 jobs were lost from March to April, when we experienced the greatest shutdowns and layoffs,” continued Washington. “Since then, we’ve recovered approximately half of those jobs.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Clay County at 4.8%, Cullman County at 5.1% and Shelby, Randolph and Marshall counties at 5.3%.  Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 19.0%, Lowndes County at 18.7% and Dallas County at 14.5%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are Vestavia Hills at 4.3%, Madison at 4.6% and Homewood at 4.7%.  Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Prichard at 21.2%, Selma at 17.5% and Bessemer and Mobile at 14.0%.

For more information regarding how the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the unemployment rate, please visit https://www.bls.gov/bls/bls-covid-19-questions-and-answers.htm.