Pike County jobless rate increases

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The unemployment rate in Pike County jumped nearly one percent from December to January according to newly released numbers from the Alabama Department of Labor.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.4 percent in January from just 6.5 percent in December.

The number of unemployed people in the labor force rose from 994 to 1,124 and employment dropped from 14,273 people employed to 14,111.

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The drop in employment is not in line with the state numbers, which show employment grew overall by about 6,400 jobs to approximately 2.05 million jobs, but that growth was outpaced by the 10,000 people entering the workforce across the state.

“When you have an increase in the labor force, and all of those people aren’t able to find work, you will see up an uptick in the rate,” Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said in a statement.

The seasonally-adjusted state rate rose to 6.4 percent, up from 6.3 percent in December. The January number represented 141,268 unemployed people in the state, compared to 137,875 the month before.

The unemployment rate comes in at the third-worst in the country behind Alaska and New Mexico at 6.5 percent and 6.7 percent respectively.

Nationally, unemployment dropped to 4.7 percent in figures released last week.

Shelby County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 5 percent, while Wilcox County had the highest jobless rate at 17.1 percent. Among cities, the Birmingham suburb of Vestavia Hills had the lowest unemployment at 4.2 percent compared to 11.9 percent in the Mobile suburb of Prichard, which was worst.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.