Jobless rate holds steady

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 20, 2000

Staff Report

June 19, 2000 10 PM

Pike County’s unemployment rate between April and May stayed relatively the same.

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In May, the county posted a jobless rate of 5.7 percent, according to figures from the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations. In April, the figures were 5.6 percent.

Comparing last month’s rate to last year, shows a significant difference. The unemployment rate for May 1999 was 4.5 percent.

Across the state, the unemployment rate saw a slight increase between April and May.

In May, the state’s jobless rate was 4.3 percent, a little more than April’s rate of 4.1 percent, but below the 4.9 percent recorded a year ago.

"While the rate has increased for the month, it still dropped significantly from where it was one year ago," said Alice McKinney, director of the Department of Industrial Relations.

"We continue to see the trend of low unemployment in urban areas and higher unemployment in rural areas."

The lowest unemployment rates were in Shelby (1.5 percent), Madison (2.3 percent), Blount (2.5 percent), St. Clair (2.5 percent) and Tuscaloosa (2.5 percent). Sumter (13.5 percent), Washington (12.1 percent), Wilcox (11.4 percent), Perry (10.4 percent) and Lowndes (10.4 percent) had the highest unemployment rates.

May’s rate represents 93,300 unemployed persons, compared to 90,000 in April and 103,400 in May 1999.

Over the past 12 months, the majority of the job gains were in the service producing sector. Gains of in the construction industry were the same as the number of jobs lost in factories, which was 3,700.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate for May was 4.1 percent, an increase from the April rate of 3.9 percent.