MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) — New numbers show Alabama’s unemployment rate is unchanged from November, according to the Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL). However, the rate is significantly lower than ones reported in 2020, just as COVID-19 began overtaking the nation.

ADOL reports a 3.1% unemployment rate for December 2021, the same as the previous month. That number represents 69,854 unemployed Alabamians, compared to 106,318 in December 2020.

“For five months now, our unemployment rate has held steady at 3.1%,” said ADOL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “We all know of the challenges facing today’s workforce, most of which are still pandemic related, and we’re grateful that Alabama is weathering these challenges.”

“Since last year, more than 36,000 people are no longer counted as unemployed, and we saw more than 7,000 additional people shift to the employed column since last month,” Washington continued.

Overall, 65 of Alabama’s 67 counties saw their unemployment rate go down or stay steady in December.

Counties showing the lowest unemployment rates include Cullman and Shelby counties at 1.8%, followed by Blount and Marshall counties at 1.9%. Cherokee, Clay, DeKalb, and Limestone counties show unemployment rates at 2.0%.

The counties with the highest rates of unemployment include Wilcox County at 10.3%, Lowndes County at 8.4%, and Perry County at 7.2%.