Unemployment up in Alabama, BBJ has optimistic outlook for Birmingham

Updated: Oct. 20, 2020 at 11:16 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - State numbers are up over last month by a percentage point, from 5.6 percent to 6.6 percent, still half of what we saw in April.

The numbers rising again after going down for three months might just mean more people are looking for jobs.

“You’re seeing more people get back and start looking for work, so that’s not really a bad thing,” said Ty West, Editor-in-Chief of the Birmingham Business Journal.

There are businesses rebounding that suffered at the beginning of the pandemic.

“You are seeing some jobs come back, we are still seeing some COVID related jobs claims, but those are obviously lower than they were,” said West.

The rapidly approaching holiday season will also bring employment to hundreds.

“We’re seeing Macy’s, home improvement stores, Lowe’s and Home Depot, go on big seasonal pushes, UPS, FedEx do a big seasonal push and now we have an Amazon presence here.”

Moving forward, West believes Birmingham is in a unique position.

“Our economy locally based on what lenders are hearing, seems like it has weathered it better than other areas, and that’s very positive to hear,” he said.

Locally, he says to look out for jobs in the healthcare and transportation industries.

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