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Unemployment rate continues slow decline

As the rate of unemployment continues to slowly decrease, Franklin County has registered a small decline in unemployed people – but coupled with a decline in employment and a slightly reduced workforce – for March, according to the Alabama Department of Labor.

ADOL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced recently that the state’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted March 2021 unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, down from February’s rate of 4 percent yet above March 2020’s rate of 2.6 percent. 

In Franklin County the unemployed percentage is 2.1 percent as compared to 2.3 percent. It’s a decrease of 331 unemployed people to 306 unemployed people.

Relatedly, the ADOL reports the county’s labor force decreased from 14,452 to 14,322. The department reports 14,016 people employed in Franklin County in March, as compared to 14,121 in February.

“Our unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been since the pandemic began. We’re still not where we were before, but tremendous progress is being made,” said Washington. “We have more jobs in March than we’ve had all year, and we’re seeing monthly wage growth in several industries.”

Franklin County continues to enjoy one of the lowest unemployment percentages in north Alabama, matching Limestone and Blount counties at 2.1 percent and surpassing all surrounding counties, with Colbert at 3.6 percent, Lauderdale at 2.8 percent and Lawrence, Winston and Marion counties at 2.6 percent.

“As the unemployment rate steadily drops, our focus must turn to the number of people still unemployed in Alabama,” Washington said. “Our career centers stand ready to assist the unemployed in getting back into the workforce by providing training, educational assistance and assistance in finding and applying for jobs. We can also assist employers with their hiring needs.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby and Cullman counties at 2 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 11.6 percent, Lowndes County at 10.6 percent and Perry County at 8.1 percent.