Unemployment drops in Walker, Winston

By ED HOWELL
Posted 3/26/19

Unemployment in Walker and Winston counties dropped in February, as it did in all but one county of the state - but both were higher in jobless rates than their surrounding counties. According …

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Unemployment drops in Walker, Winston

Posted

Unemployment in Walker and Winston counties dropped in February, as it did in all but one county of the state - but both were higher in jobless rates than their surrounding counties. 

According to statistics from the state Department of Labor on Friday, Walker County's unemployment dropped from 4.7 percent to 4.4 percent in February. The comparable rate in February 2018 was 4.9 percent. In Winston County, the rate decreased from 4.9 percent (the rate also in February 2018) to 4.4 percent. 

Alabama's seasonally-adjusted rate was 3.8 percent, down from 4 percent, while the rate a year earlier was 4.9 percent. The seasonally-adjusted national rate was 4.1 percent, down from 4.4 percent in both January this year and January 2018. 

“Our unemployment rate, which is clocking in at a new record low of 3.7 percent, is proof that Alabama is open for business. We’ve shattered employment records for nine months in a row now. People are continuing to join the labor force, with the expectation that they will get a job – and they’re getting jobs,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington in a release. 

The release noted February’s rate represents 2,127,626 employed persons, compared to 2,123,650 last month and 2,100,195 in February 2018, representing yearly growth of 27,431. A total of 82,304 were counted as unemployed, the second lowest number ever recorded, compared to 83,398 in January and 87,534 in February 2018.

“More than 27,000 Alabamians are working now than a year ago, and they’re bringing home more money in their paychecks, which is great news for our economy,”  Washington said.

Sixty-six of 67 counties experienced drops in their unemployment rate this month, and 64 of 67 counties saw equal or lower rates than in February 2018. Cherokee County went from 4.2 percent to 4.3 percent in February.

In Walker County, an estimated total of 1,100 people out of a civilian labor force of 26,386 people were listed as being unemployed in February. Winston County recorded 428 employees out of a labor force of 9,831 as being jobless. 

Walker County ranked 27th highest in unemployment out of 67 counties, while Winston ranked 28th. 

Unemployment rates for other surrounding counties included Tuscaloosa, 3.4 percent (down from 3.8 percent); Marion, 4.6 percent (down from 5.1 percent); Jefferson, 3.7 percent (down from 4.1 percent); Fayette, 4 percent (down from 4.6 percent); Cullman, 3.3 percent (down from 3.7 percent); and Blount, 3.5 percent (down from 3.9 percent). 

Franklin (3.8 percent), Lawrence (4.2 percent) and Morgan (3.4 percent) counties, which border Winston County to the north, also posted smaller unemployment rates. 

Marion County ranked 23rd highest in unemployment for February. Cullman was fifth lowest, and Tuscaloosa was sixth lowest. Blount was 11th lowest, and Jefferson was 14th lowest. Fayette was 25th lowest. 

Statewide, the highest rate was 9.8 percent in Wilcox County, followed by 7.6 percent in Clarke County. The lowest rate was 2.9 percent in Shelby County.