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: 265146

Reported Deaths: 5777
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17741191
Hinds16891332
Harrison14279204
Rankin11239220
Jackson10917190
Lee9071145
Madison8599169
Jones6731118
Forrest6208124
Lauderdale6121192
Lowndes5544120
Lafayette520598
Lamar505865
Washington4933125
Bolivar4126109
Oktibbeha408382
Panola386981
Pontotoc377460
Monroe3686110
Warren3685103
Marshall357170
Union356864
Pearl River3495106
Neshoba3490154
Leflore3118109
Lincoln306788
Hancock294262
Sunflower291975
Tate280662
Alcorn273154
Pike270181
Itawamba269363
Scott260048
Yazoo256756
Prentiss253754
Coahoma249755
Copiah249749
Tippah249750
Simpson242872
Leake238167
Marion224273
Grenada223972
Covington221073
Adams215171
Wayne213734
Winston207671
George204739
Newton199946
Attala197064
Tishomingo194961
Chickasaw189344
Jasper181138
Holmes172068
Clay166837
Tallahatchie157235
Stone152525
Clarke148162
Calhoun141322
Smith130026
Yalobusha123335
Walthall114537
Greene113729
Noxubee113026
Montgomery112036
Carroll106822
Lawrence106817
Perry105131
Amite102126
Webster96824
Tunica89021
Claiborne88825
Jefferson Davis88430
Benton85823
Humphreys84724
Kemper80920
Quitman7139
Franklin70617
Choctaw63713
Wilkinson59825
Jefferson56821
Sharkey45217
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 441170

Reported Deaths: 6660
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson646811007
Mobile31620572
Madison28310217
Tuscaloosa21525275
Montgomery19954332
Shelby19335132
Baldwin17256189
Lee13205107
Morgan12639142
Etowah12107181
Calhoun11521206
Marshall10471123
Houston9009164
Limestone834981
Cullman8274124
Elmore8214110
DeKalb7894107
Lauderdale7871107
St. Clair7854130
Talladega6481112
Walker6036183
Jackson601545
Colbert549994
Blount547386
Autauga537662
Coffee462464
Dale410785
Franklin374950
Russell357515
Chilton345473
Covington339680
Escambia335444
Tallapoosa3149109
Dallas313296
Chambers304270
Clarke300236
Pike262531
Lawrence254155
Marion253761
Winston233642
Bibb222348
Geneva211547
Marengo209331
Pickens199631
Hale185244
Barbour182738
Fayette178629
Butler174460
Cherokee165731
Henry159925
Monroe152421
Randolph146436
Washington142327
Clay130546
Crenshaw124045
Macon122337
Cleburne121825
Lamar120222
Lowndes115536
Wilcox107922
Bullock103528
Perry100018
Conecuh97922
Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63618
Choctaw51924
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