Unemployment spikes in January

By ED HOWELL
Posted 3/12/19

Walker County's unemployment rate jumped 1 percent in January to 4.8 percent, while Winston County also rose 1 percent to 4.9 percent, according to new statistics Monday from the state Department of …

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Unemployment spikes in January

Posted

Walker County's unemployment rate jumped 1 percent in January to 4.8 percent, while Winston County also rose 1 percent to 4.9 percent, according to new statistics Monday from the state Department of Labor.

An estimated total of 1,200 people out of a county civilian labor force of 25,241 in Walker County were counted as unemployed in January after it increased from 3.8 percent in December. The rate was 4.9 percent in January 2018. 

In Winston County, 473 people out of a civilian labor force of 4,698 were listed as being jobless in January. The rate jumped from 3.9 percent to 4.9 percent in January, while it was 4.8 percent in January 2018. 

The preliminary, seasonally adjusted national jobless rate rose from 3.9 percent to 4 percent in January, compared to 4.1 percent in January 2018. The preliminary, seasonally adjusted state rate was unchanged at 3.8 percent in January, while it was 3.9 percent a year earlier. 

Unemployment rates for other surrounding counties in January included Blount, 3.9 percent (up from 3.1 percent); Cullman, 3.7 percent (up from 3 percent); Fayette, 4.6 percent (up from 3.8 percent); Jefferson, 4.1 percent (up from 3.3 percent); Marion, 5.1 percent (up from 4.1 percent); and Tuscaloosa, 3.8 percent (up from 3.1 percent); 

Meanwhile, state officials noted in a release that for eight consecutive months, the number of people counted as employed in Alabama has reached record highs.  In January, this number measured 2,123,398, breaking December's revised count of 2,120,769.

“People are working in Alabama, said state Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. "Employers are hiring in Alabama. We continue to report record numbers of people with jobs, and we are seeing fewer and fewer people counted as unemployed, which is what we like to see."

The number of people counted as unemployed in January measured 83,406, which is the third lowest count in history. A year ago, this number measured 86,250.

“While maintaining our record low unemployment rate, we’ve also seen some great over-the-year growth in some of our high wage industries,” Washington said. “Both the construction, information, and manufacturing sectors saw significant increases from January 2018 to January 2019.”

Shelby County led in the lowest unemployment rates in January with 3.2 percent, followed by Marshall and Cullman counties at 3.7 percent, and Tuscaloosa, Morgan, Madison, and Elmore counties at 3.8 percent. The highest rates included Wilcox County at 10.5 percent, Lowndes County at 8.2 percent, and Clarke County at 7.9 percent.

Walker County was ranked midway out of 67 counties at 32nd highest in the state, while Marion County was 24th highest and Winston County was 27th highest. Blount County was 10th lowest, while Jefferson County was 14th lowest and Fayette County was 30th lowest.