Jobless rate rises slightly in Pike Co.

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 28, 2000

Staff Report

March 27, 2000 10 PM

Pike County saw a slight decrease in the unemployment rate during February.

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For February 2000, 6.7 percent of Pike Countians were unemployed, compared to the 6.9 percent who reported having no job in January.

Across Alabama, the trend was pretty much the same with the Department of Industrial Relations reporting an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent, which was a drop from January’s figure of 4.9 percent.

"The latest state unemployment figures indicate there were 6,700 fewer unemployed persons in February than in January," said Alice McKinney, director of the Department of Industrial Relations.

"More people are working in Alabama than ever before," she said adding February’s unemployment was just over two million.

The 4.6 percent unemployment rate equals the rate posted in February 1999.

But, Pike County’s story is not the same on that note.

Since February of 1999, the county has seen an increase of over one percent. Last year, Pike County reported a 5.5 percent unemployment rate.

That increase here is almost as much as the Alabama county with the lowest unemployment.

Shelby County reported a jobless rate of 1.8 percent, followed by Blount County at 2.6 percent and Tuscaloosa County with 2.7 percent. Winston County had the highest rate of 12.7 percent, followed by Lowndes and Butler, both at 12.6 percent.

The majority of job gains in Alabama during the past year continued to be in the service-producing sector, the Department of Industrial Relations reported. Construction jobs rose by 3,800 over the year while factory jobs declined by 4,700.

Alabama’s February rate is comparable to the United States unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, a slight increase from January’s four percent rate.