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Marengo County, state unemployment rates soar due to COVID-19

The unemployment rate in Marengo County, and across the state, has seen a sharp increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Alabama Department of Labor’s preliminary statistics, Marengo County’s unemployment rate for April 2020 was 11.9 percent. In March, the rate stood at 3.8 percent. A year ago in April, the county’s unemployment was at 2.9 percent.

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted April unemployment rate is 12.9 percent, up from March’s revised level of 3 percent, and above April 2019’s rate of 3.2 percent.  April’s rate represents 283,787 unemployed persons, representing an increase of 216,783 over the month.

Those counted as employed decreased to 1,911,512 in April, down from March’s count of 2,151,586.

“While we are certainly disappointed to see our unemployment rate rise so sharply this month, it’s not surprising,” said Governor Kay Ivey. “This global pandemic and national disaster has certainly impacted Alabamians’ ability to work. We know that hundreds of thousands of people have filed for unemployment benefits over the past two months, and we’ve been able to process and pay a great majority of those.  We realize there are some still waiting on relief, and we hear and understand their frustration.  Please rest assured that my administration is working tirelessly to provide relief to those Alabamians and their families, and I have the utmost confidence in the Alabama Department of Labor and the dedicated state employees there who are working tirelessly to serve their fellow citizens.”

Neighboring counties experienced similar unemployment increases in April. Sumter County’s rate stands at 12.5 percent, up from 4.1 in March. Greene County is at 22.2 percent, up from 5.5 in March. Hale County stands at 20.9 percent, up from March’s 4.3 percent. Perry County is at 20.9 percent, up from 5 percent in March. Wilcox County is at 22.8 percent, up from 5.5 percent in March. Clarke County stands at 15 percent, up from 5.9 in March. Choctaw County is at 11.9 percent, up from 5 percent in March.

Lowndes County recorded the highest unemployment among Alabama counties with a rate of 26 percent. Wilcox and Greene counties were the second and third highest, respectively.

Among cities, Selma has the highest unemployment with 23.4 percent.