Pike jobless rate drops

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 12, 2000

one percent for March


Staff Writer

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Pike County’s unemployment rate dropped just over one percent from February to March.

According to figures released by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations, Pike County’s unemployment rate for March was 5.5 percent, compared to the 6.6 percent reported in February.

However, the March rate is an increase over the year. In March 1999, Pike County had an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.

Statewide, the jobless rate was the lowest in 18 months. The figure for March of 4.2 percent, a decrease from February’s 4.6 percent rate.

"The state unemployment rate hasn’t been this low since September 1998 when the unemployment rate was also 4.2 percent," said Alice McKinney, director of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations. "The March rate represents a significant drop in the number of unemployed persons in Alabama with 91,400 in March, compared to 101,600 in February."

A year ago, the state had an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent.

Shelby County reported the lowest jobless rate for March at 1.3 percent, followed by Blount at 1.9 percent, Madison and Tuscaloosa, both at 2.2 percent and St. Clair at 2.3 percent. Sumter County’s 10.7 percent was the highest, followed by Lowndes at 10.6 percent, Butler at 10.5 percent, Wilcox at 10 percent and Dallas at nine percent.

Job gains in Alabama over the past year were mostly in the service-producing sector. Construction jobs rose by 4,500 while there was a loss of 2,900 factory jobs.

The comparable national employment rate for March was 4.1 percent, which was the same in February.