Local jobless rate remains near record low

Published 10:14 pm Monday, December 30, 2019

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Pike County unemployment increased slightly from October to November, but remains at one of its lowest points ever at 2.8 percent.

Pike County reached a record low unemployment in October with an unemployment rate of 2.7 percent as Alabama continues to reach record lows of unemployment statewide.

New jobs have begun to open up in 2019 at new industries including Kimber Manufacturing and Rex Lumber, while existing industries such as Sanders companies and Lockheed Martin have also expanded operations and offered new positions.

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“That’s a sign that our economy is doing very well,” said Marsha Gaylard, director of Pike County Economic Development. “At that rate, almost everyone who is looking for a job in Pike County is able to find employment.”

Alabama’s unemployment rate dropped to a record-low of 2.7 percent in November, well below the national average of 3.5 percent.

November was the seventh straight month for the state to reach a record low for unemployment.

The rate represented 2.2 million people who were employed compared to about 62,000 who were unemployed. The state’s economy has gained more than 50,000 jobs since this time last year, Gov. Kay Ivey’s office released in a statement.

Wages also increased, with average weekly earnings in November at $863.11, up $1.06 from October. The November number was an increase of $21.56 from November 2018.

About 1.7 million people are working in service industries, and manufacturing employment rose to 273,700.

“Manufacturing employment in Alabama is at its highest level in 11 years,” Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said in the statement. “Other sectors are currently experiencing their highest levels of employment in history. Employers are hiring, and people are finding work.”

Shelby County in metro Birmingham had the lowest jobless rate at 1.8 percent while Wilcox County in rural west Alabama was highest at 6.3 percent.