MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's unemployment rate for January declined to 4.3%, the lowest level since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic a year ago, the state said Monday.
While still well above the pre-pandemic level of 2.7% of January 2020, the rate was better than the revised December unemployment rate of 4.7%. It was also below the U.S. unemployment rate of 6.3% for the month, and Department of Labor said.
Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said the drop to a new low level of joblessness for the pandemic was encouraging.
“While we are still not where we were before this year of massive change, we are making progress," he said in a statement. "More people were employed this month, and fewer were unemployed, which is always good news.”
The January rate represented 97,726 people without work statewide compared to 106,318 in December. Roughly 2.16 million people were employed in the state, an increase of about 2,600 from December.
Shelby County had the state's lowest unemployment rate at 2.3%, followed by Blount County at 2.4% and Cullman and Limestone counties, which both had jobless rates of 2.5%. Wilcox County had the state's highest unemployment rate at 12.4%.