July 17, 2020


MONTGOMERY – Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced today that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted June unemployment rate is 7.5%, down from May’s revised rate of 9.6%, and above June 2019’s rate of 2.9%.  June’s rate represents 165,770 unemployed persons, compared to 216,043 in May and 65,389 in June 2019.

“We continue to make gains in our unemployment rate but remain above the record low rates we were experiencing prior to this pandemic,” said Washington. “People are returning to work as the economy further reopens, but we are beginning to see slight rises in the number of initial unemployment claims filed each week.”

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Wage and salary employment grew in June by 42,300.  Monthly gains were seen in the leisure and hospitality sector (+24,100), the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+8,900), the professional and business services sector (+6,900), and the manufacturing sector (+4,800), among others.

Over the year, wage and salary employment has decreased 119,500, with losses in the leisure and hospitality sector (-40,700), the government sector (-24,500), and the professional and business services sector (-21,400), among others.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Clay County at 4.6%, Shelby, Marshall, and Cullman Counties at 5.4%, and Geneva and DeKalb Counties at 5.6%.  Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 18.5%, Lowndes County at 16.9%, and Perry County at 14.1%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills at 4.5%, Homewood at 4.8%, and Madison at 5.1%.  Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Prichard at 18.8%, Selma at 15.3%, and Bessemer and Mobile at 13.0%.

For more information regarding how the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the unemployment rate, please visit https://www.bls.gov/bls/bls-covid-19-questions-and-answers.htm.

NOTE: Data users must be cautious about trying to compare or reconcile the UI claims data with the official unemployment figures gathered through the household survey. The unemployment data derived from the household survey in no way depend upon the eligibility for or receipt of UI benefits. In some cases, UI claims data exclude people who would be identified as unemployed in the household survey, like new entrants to the labor force with no prior work experience. In other cases, UI data may include individuals who do not meet the CPS definition of unemployment. The recent Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act of 2020, signed on March 27, 2020, allowed states to temporarily modify or suspend the “actively seeking work” requirement to respond to the spread of COVID-19.




Members of the media seeking more information should contact Communications Director Tara Hutchison.


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Seasonal adjustment” refers to BLS’s practice of anticipating certain trends in the labor force, such as hiring during the holidays or the surge in the labor force when students graduate in the spring, and removing their effects to the civilian labor force. 

The Current Population (CPS), or the household survey, is conducted by the Census Bureau and identifies members of the work force and measures how many people are working or looking for work.

The establishment survey, which is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, surveys employers to measure how many jobs are in the economy.  This is also referred to as wage and salary employment.