Alabama unemployment claims see small spike

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In this Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, photo, brake drums roll down a conveyor belt to a station which robotically balances the drum at Webb Wheel Products in Cullman, Ala. Dave Martin / AP

Initial unemployment claims were up in Alabama during the week ending Oct. 30, according to a report from the U.S Department of Labor.

State officials received 3,552 new claims compared with 3,227 in the previous week, an increase of 225.

The number of claims paid for the week ending Oct. 23 was down by 1,258 from the previous week, according to the report. The state paid 4,352 claims compared to 5,601 in the prior week.

Alabama’s unemployment rate is the eighth-lowest in the country at 3.1%, according to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate was the same in August, according to a news release from the Alabama Department of Labor. The unemployment rate in September 2020 was 6.7%

In September, 74,000 more residents had jobs than in the previous year, and almost 79,000 fewer people were on the unemployment rolls, according to the state labor department.

The figures show 68,544 Alabamans were without a job in September, compared with 69,014 in August. The number of Alabamans not working in September 2020 was 147,334, according to the Alabama DOL.

Alabama is one of several U.S. states that ended federal pandemic unemployment programs earlier this year.

On the business side, the state added 63,000 new jobs this year, according to the Alabama DOL. The state reached its highest job count of 2021, according to Alabama Labor Secretary Washington Fitzgerald.

“Some of the hardest-hit industries, including the leisure and hospitality industry, continue to lead the state in over-the-year growth and registering significantly higher wages,” Fitzgerald said in a statement.

The U.S. unemployment rate is also declining. Fourteen thousand fewer unemployment claims were filed for the week ending Oct. 30 when compared with the week prior, according to the DOL. The figure represents the lowest number since March 14, 2020, when 256,000 claims were filed.

By Kim Jarrett | The Center Square