Unemployment rate drop gives hope for economic recovery

Published 1:39 am Wednesday, July 1, 2020

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By PAUL DeMARCO | Guest Columnist

Note: This is an opinion column.

Back in April, the Alabama unemployment rate was 13.8 % as the state was in the beginning stages of the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses were closed and people were quarantined at home amidst the Governor’s stay at home order.

As the state opened back up in May and the doors to companies unlocked, folks returned back to work.

With the effort to return back to business, the rate of unemployment dropped almost four points to 9.9 %. While not the record low pre-pandemic rate of 3 % a year ago, at least those numbers are heading in the right direction.

Yet, there are still thousands in the state left unemployed due to the coronavirus as some businesses have closed permanently.

While the virus is still spreading across the state, the governor has made no recommendations on closing businesses again. Alabama companies are working to serve their customers in a manner that will be safe to them and their employees.

We will see if the unemployment rate creeps back up or if the state will remain open for business.

The impact of the coronavirus will be felt for months, but at least for now the state is showing signs of hope for the future.

Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives.