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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: 14790

Reported Deaths: 710
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds95924
Lauderdale71358
Madison69422
Scott63010
Neshoba58937
Jones56622
Forrest52338
DeSoto5036
Leake40012
Rankin3856
Holmes38524
Jackson30313
Copiah2904
Attala28415
Newton2564
Monroe25225
Leflore25130
Lincoln25024
Harrison2477
Lamar2315
Yazoo2274
Pearl River20631
Pike20311
Adams19015
Lowndes1899
Noxubee1736
Washington1667
Warren1597
Bolivar15411
Wayne1540
Oktibbeha15411
Jasper1524
Smith14511
Covington1431
Clarke13818
Kemper13611
Chickasaw13012
Lafayette1274
Lee1245
Carroll11511
Coahoma1144
Marion1149
Clay1084
Winston1051
Lawrence1021
Simpson950
Hancock8711
Wilkinson859
Yalobusha855
Grenada853
Itawamba847
Montgomery811
Union805
Sunflower783
Jefferson Davis772
Marshall773
Tate741
Tippah7111
Claiborne692
Panola643
Calhoun634
Webster611
Humphreys587
Amite561
Tunica533
Walthall520
Perry503
Prentiss423
Jefferson400
Choctaw342
Stone300
Pontotoc293
Tishomingo280
Franklin282
Tallahatchie261
Quitman250
George211
Benton150
Alcorn141
Greene91
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 16823

Reported Deaths: 605
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2124112
Jefferson1712100
Montgomery154134
Tuscaloosa67813
Marshall6689
Lee53332
Franklin5147
Shelby48419
Tallapoosa41864
Butler39213
Chambers34924
Madison3184
Elmore3137
Walker2991
Baldwin2819
Etowah24411
Dallas2443
DeKalb2413
Morgan2311
Coffee2241
Lowndes22210
Sumter2136
Autauga2053
Houston1884
Bullock1833
Pike1790
Colbert1612
Russell1590
Marengo1556
Lauderdale1532
Calhoun1523
Hale1517
Choctaw1488
Wilcox1347
Barbour1321
Clarke1292
Randolph1257
Marion11911
St. Clair1161
Pickens1014
Talladega1003
Dale990
Chilton971
Cullman960
Greene924
Limestone870
Winston820
Covington771
Jackson752
Crenshaw722
Bibb711
Henry712
Macon712
Washington666
Blount581
Escambia493
Lawrence460
Geneva400
Conecuh351
Coosa351
Monroe352
Perry350
Cherokee342
Clay272
Lamar210
Fayette130
Cleburne131
Unassigned00
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