Jobless rate shows healthy economy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 30, 2001

Staff Report

Jan. 29, 2001 10 PM

Alabama’s 4.6 percent unemployment rate for December was a slight decline over the previous month’s 4.7 percent rate.

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But, in Pike County, the jobless rate went from 5.5 percent in November 2000 to 5.6 percent the following month. That accounted for 10 more unemployed individuals between November and December.

Pike County’s unemployment rate in December 1999 was 6.1 percent or 860 individuals without jobs.

"There were 1,200 fewer unemployed Alabamians in December than in November," said Alice McKinney, director of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations. "Seasonal gains in retail trade occupations account for the most significant aspect of the modest upturn in employment."

The December rate represents 100,900 unemployed persons, compared to 102,100 in November and 103,000 in December 1999. Alabama’s jobless rate in December 1999 was 4.7 percent.

The comparable national unemployment rate for December remained at 4 percent, unchanged from November.

A majority of the job gains in Alabama during the past year were found in the service-producing sector. Construction jobs rose by 600 over the year, while factory jobs declined by 9,000.

Alabama counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Shelby, 1.2 percent; Blount, 2 percent; Tuscaloosa, 2.2 percent; Cleburne, 2.3 percent and Madison, 2.4 percent.

Counties with the highest jobless rates were: Washington, 12.5 percent; Bullock, 12.3 percent; Perry, 11.3 percent; Winston, 10.5 percent and Wilcox, 9.9 percent.