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.

Cases: 268672

Reported Deaths: 5917
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17928195
Hinds17030337
Harrison14510212
Rankin11315223
Jackson11054193
Lee9109147
Madison8663171
Jones6853120
Forrest6260125
Lauderdale6161196
Lowndes5582123
Lafayette5269101
Lamar508765
Washington4965125
Bolivar4164110
Oktibbeha411585
Panola389881
Pontotoc380460
Monroe3727111
Warren3716103
Marshall360172
Union360165
Pearl River3527106
Neshoba3516158
Leflore3132110
Lincoln308389
Hancock300963
Sunflower294277
Tate281862
Alcorn274055
Pike272984
Itawamba271263
Scott264055
Yazoo258456
Prentiss255454
Coahoma252455
Copiah251549
Tippah251551
Simpson244872
Leake238967
Marion228274
Covington224873
Grenada224673
Wayne216336
Adams216271
Winston208271
George206440
Newton201447
Attala197465
Tishomingo196361
Chickasaw190245
Jasper183138
Holmes172568
Clay168637
Tallahatchie158035
Stone153625
Clarke148762
Calhoun142022
Smith131926
Yalobusha124935
Walthall115438
Greene114929
Noxubee114526
Montgomery112936
Lawrence107917
Carroll106922
Perry105931
Amite102727
Webster98024
Claiborne90125
Tunica89621
Jefferson Davis89330
Benton86923
Humphreys85625
Kemper81220
Quitman7169
Franklin71017
Choctaw64013
Wilkinson60125
Jefferson57321
Sharkey45717
Issaquena1616
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 445909

Reported Deaths: 6896
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson651891049
Mobile32138590
Madison28596223
Tuscaloosa21703276
Montgomery20220336
Shelby19584138
Baldwin17496216
Lee13378109
Morgan12741145
Etowah12196189
Calhoun11626228
Marshall10513126
Houston9097168
Limestone842481
Cullman8363125
Elmore8283112
Lauderdale7986112
DeKalb7935112
St. Clair7915139
Talladega6552112
Walker6068184
Jackson605649
Colbert560194
Blount551794
Autauga544065
Coffee470569
Dale415186
Franklin378150
Russell362816
Chilton348079
Covington344681
Escambia342244
Tallapoosa3184109
Dallas314197
Chambers308575
Clarke307339
Pike267735
Lawrence256958
Marion255763
Winston235243
Bibb224751
Geneva214747
Marengo212031
Pickens201831
Barbour188240
Hale187444
Fayette181230
Butler175960
Cherokee167433
Henry161325
Monroe153521
Randolph148236
Washington144027
Clay131050
Crenshaw126245
Macon124337
Cleburne123627
Lamar121324
Lowndes117636
Wilcox109422
Bullock105829
Perry100518
Conecuh98222
Sumter90828
Greene78323
Coosa64619
Choctaw52224
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