Alabama jobless rate jumps to 12.9% because of pandemic

Alabama's unemployment rate has jumped to 12.9% in April during the economic shutdown linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: May 22, 2020 4:49 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s unemployment rate jumped to 12.9% in April during the economic shutdown linked to the coronavirus pandemic, the worst in nearly 37 years, the state said Friday as its most populous county extended a lockdown order because of an increase in cases.

Department of Labor statistics showed nearly 217,000 people lost their jobs from March to April, leaving 283,787 people without work statewide.

The April rate was up from 3% just one month earlier, but it wasn't as bad as the state's all-time high. State records dating to 1976 show Alabama's worst-ever jobless rate was 15.5% in December 1982, and historical accounts say state unemployment exceeded 20% during the Great Depression.

The worst cuts last month were in the leisure and hospitality industry, where 79,500 people lost their jobs in places like restaurants and hotels. About 29,500 people lost positions in professional services; the education and health services sector shed 26,400 jobs; and manufacturing lost 24,200 jobs.

Average weekly wages increased to $908.52 in April, up from $883.17.

Gov. Kay Ivey, who has moved to reopen the state's economy despite statistics showing the state is making only limited progress fighting the pandemic, said the high jobless rate was disappointing but not surprising.

“This global pandemic and national disaster has certainly impacted Alabamians’ ability to work," she said in a statement.

Geneva County in rural south Alabama had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 8.1%. But a state-high 26% of people are out of work in Lowndes County, just west of Montgomery.

While a state order allowed many new places including casinos, bingo halls and other entertainment venues to open with limited capacities and begin Friday afternoon, Jefferson County said it would extend restrictions in the state's most populous area through June 6.

The county health officer, Dr. Mark Wilson, said nightclubs, concert venues, theaters, performing arts center, and tourist attractions must remain closed.

“The reason we're doing this is that we are continuing to see some increases in cases of COVID-19 per day in Jefferson County. They've been trending up since that last order was issued statewide on May 8,” he told a news conference. Hospitalizations also are on the rise, he said.

Nearly 1,500 people have tested positive for the disease in the county and 86 have died.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 91935

Reported Deaths: 2780
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6903153
DeSoto532153
Harrison368771
Jackson334367
Madison318086
Rankin313473
Lee254066
Jones236078
Forrest231069
Washington215671
Lafayette203039
Lauderdale1984123
Bolivar177465
Oktibbeha173749
Lamar156633
Neshoba1524103
Panola140926
Sunflower138543
Lowndes138457
Warren136650
Leflore134380
Pontotoc120416
Pike120148
Monroe117665
Scott115925
Copiah115433
Coahoma110927
Holmes108458
Marshall106714
Grenada104535
Lincoln104453
Yazoo103429
Simpson100142
Union96524
Tate94537
Leake93535
Adams89135
Wayne87121
Pearl River84850
Marion83633
Covington79321
Prentiss78617
Alcorn75310
Newton74722
Itawamba74121
George73913
Tallahatchie73418
Winston71919
Tishomingo65035
Attala63625
Chickasaw63524
Tippah63516
Walthall58925
Clay56216
Hancock55420
Noxubee54015
Jasper53615
Clarke52538
Smith51714
Calhoun50612
Tunica47213
Montgomery45020
Claiborne44916
Lawrence42212
Yalobusha41314
Perry39016
Humphreys36915
Quitman3625
Stone34611
Greene33516
Webster32813
Jefferson Davis32211
Carroll30812
Amite30710
Wilkinson30117
Kemper28515
Sharkey25812
Jefferson2359
Benton2151
Franklin1863
Choctaw1775
Issaquena1033
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128818

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18648332
Mobile12949288
Montgomery8560170
Madison736573
Tuscaloosa7015112
Lee558259
Shelby550149
Baldwin502148
Marshall376342
Etowah326344
Calhoun321139
Morgan312925
Houston260621
Elmore247547
DeKalb230119
St. Clair218134
Walker217780
Talladega199925
Limestone191919
Cullman180017
Franklin172728
Dallas172526
Russell16912
Autauga162424
Lauderdale159231
Colbert157224
Escambia154324
Blount150413
Jackson146610
Chilton143325
Dale128042
Covington127027
Coffee12388
Pike11329
Tallapoosa112483
Chambers110642
Clarke104417
Marion91428
Butler90238
Barbour8097
Marengo69319
Winston68512
Lowndes64327
Pickens62214
Bibb6179
Hale60828
Bullock58514
Randolph58512
Lawrence57620
Monroe5708
Washington54513
Geneva5404
Perry5356
Wilcox52911
Cherokee52816
Clay5187
Conecuh51611
Crenshaw51531
Macon46619
Henry4524
Sumter41719
Fayette4128
Choctaw34212
Lamar3302
Cleburne3116
Greene29915
Coosa1573
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