Alabama, Pike County jobless rate jumps
Published 8:49 am Friday, April 17, 2020
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s unemployment rate is up substantially to 3.5%, the state said Friday, and it will go even higher because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Statistics from the Department of Labor showed the state’s jobless rate increased sharply in March from the record-low 2.7% in February.
In Pike County, the March 2020 jobless rate was 3.5%, up from 2.9% in February
While the spike in joblessness was bad, the report noted that the full impact of the COVID-19 shutdown wasn’t included since most closings and layoff happened during the week of March 16, after statistics were gathered. That means the April numbers will be worse.
The March jobless rate reflected a loss of more than 24,000 jobs as efforts to stop the spread of the virus were taking hold. Job losses occurred in the education, health services, professional and business sectors.
Shelby County in metro Birmingham, which typically has the state’s lowest unemployment rate, was still lowest at 2.5%. But joblessness increased to 9.6% in Wilcox County, located in rural western Alabama.