Walker’s jobless rate declines to 5.2 percent

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Walker County's unemployment declined from 6 percent to 5.2 percent in October.

The county figures were released Friday by the Alabama Department of Labor, which noted the October 2019 figure for Walker County was 2.8 percent. 

An estimated 1,289 workers out of a countywide civilian labor force of 24,959 were listed as unemployed in October. The number of unemployed in Walker County in September was 1,510. It had been 713 in October 2019. 

Unemployment rates in October for surrounding counties included Blount, 3.3 percent (down from 4.1 percent); Cullman, 3.2 percent (down from 3.9 percent); Fayette, 4.4 percent (down from 4.6 percent); Jefferson, 6.3 percent (down from 7.4 percent); Marion, 4.2 percent (down from 4.8 percent); Tuscaloosa, 5.9 percent (down from 7 percent); and Winston, 4 percent (down from 4.8 percent). 

Jefferson County ranked as 19th highest in the state, while Tuscaloosa County was 24th. Walker County was 32nd highest out of 67 counties. Cullman County was second lowest in the state, while Blount was sixth lowest. Winston was 17th lowest, Marion followed at 20th, and Fayette was 25th lowest. 

Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said Friday in a release that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted October unemployment rate is 5.8 percent, down from September’s revised rate of 6.7 percent, and above October 2019’s rate of 2.7 percent. October’s rate represents 130,329 unemployed persons, compared to 153,338 in September and 61,210 in October 2019.

The national rate in October was 6.6 percent, down from 7.7 percent in September. It was 3.3 percent in October 2019. 

“We’re glad to see nearly a drop of almost an entire percentage point in our (state) unemployment rate this month,” Washington said in the release. “We will continue to see fluctuations in these economic indicators as pandemic concerns remain, but this month showed growth in both the number of jobs we are supporting and the number of people who are working.”

The number of people counted as employed in October was 2,121,505, up from 2,119,297 in September, but down from the 2,186,771 measured in October 2019. 

Statewide, counties with the lowest unemployment rates included Franklin and Cullman at 3.2 percent, Shelby, Randolph, Marshall, and Blount at 3.3 percent, and Dekalb and Cherokee at 3.4 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates included Lowndes and Wilcox at 14.9 percent, Perry at 10.5 percent, and Dallas at 10.4 percent.

More unemployment statistics can found at the department's November newsletter at http://www2.labor.alabama.gov/Newsletter/LMI%20Newsletter.pdf.