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County notches fourth-lowest unemployment in state

According to data released by the Alabama Department of Labor this past week, Franklin County is among the top in the state for unemployment figures in January.

ADOL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted January 2021 unemployment rate is 4.3 percent, down from December 2020’s revised rate of 4.7 percent but above January 2020’s rate of 2.7 percent.  

In Franklin County, that unemployment percentage registered at 2.6 percent – fourth lowest in the state behind Shelby County at 2.3 percent, Blount County at 2.4 percent and Limestone and Cullman counties at 2.5 percent.

“As we begin a new year, it’s encouraging to see our monthly unemployment rate drop, marking a new record low since the pandemic began,” said Washington. “While we are still not where we were before this year of massive change, we are making progress. More people were employed this month, and fewer were unemployed, which is always good news.”

According to the ADOL, Franklin County’s 2.6 percent is actually slightly higher than December 2020’s rate, which was 2.2 percent. It comprises 369 unemployed people, compared to 322 in December.

“It is not uncommon for the number of jobs to drop from December to January,” continued Washington. “This happens nearly every year and is related to holiday and seasonal employment ending.

“Combined with the extraordinary circumstances of the last year,” Washington added, “it’s not surprising to see job losses. However, the trends of the past few months indicate that we will likely soon begin to see the jobs number climb again.”

In Franklin County, the civilian workforce was tallied at 14,198 for January, with 13,829 of those employed.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 12.4 percent, Lowndes County at 12.1 percent and Perry County at 9.5 percent.