South Alabamian

Clarke has state’s second highest jobless rate in Dec.

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Despite a continued low unemployment rate for the state, Clarke County and other southwest counties continue to have high rates.

For December, Clarke County had the second highest rate in the state at 6.6%, just behind neighbor Wilcox County with the highest rate, 9.1%.

The statewide average was 2.8%, up just slightly from November’s 2.7% and well below December 2021’s rate of 3.1%.

December’s rate represents 63,412 unemployed persons, compared to 63,004 in November and 69,434 in December 2021.

People counted as employed rose over the year by 56,418 to 2,229,259.

“As we close out our economic reporting for 2022, I’m pleased to say that Alabama has recovered well from the pandemic and has maintained positive momentum throughout the year,” said Governor Ivey. “We broke records all year-long, reminding everyone that Alabama is the best place to live, to work and open a business. Our wages are up, jobs are plentiful and still growing and we’re seeing some of our highest employment in major sectors in more than a decade. I couldn’t be more proud of the progress we’ve made.”

“Our economy is supporting more jobs than ever before, with the addition of nearly 56,000 jobs since last year,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington.

“This represents over-the-year job growth of 2.7%, which, excluding immediate pandemic recovery, is one of the highest job growth rates in more than 20 years. Also, we’ve got record high employment in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, and more people are working in the manufacturing and construction sectors since 2008.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 1.5%, Cullman County at 1.6%, and Morgan and Marshall counties at 1.7%.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 9.1%, Clarke County at 6.6%, and Dallas County at 5.3%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills and Homewood at 1.3%, Trussville, Madison, Hoover, and Alabaster at 1.4%, and Athens and Northport at 1.7%.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 6.3%, Prichard at 5.2%, and Bessemer at 3.5%.

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