Alabama sees slight rise in unemployment rate

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (WSFA) – Alabama saw its unemployment rate rise slightly to 2.7% in October.

The rate is up slightly from September’s rate of 2.6%, according to Gov. Kay Ivey’s office. However, it is below the October 2021 rate of 3.1%. The October rate represents 61,760 unemployed, down from 70,569 in October 2021.

“Despite the challenging economic climate nationally, Alabama remains resilient. At 2.7 percent, we are now supporting more jobs than at any time in our state’s history,” Ivey said. “Our wages continue to move in the right direction, more of the world’s leading companies are moving here every day, and our workforce development efforts are creating new skilled workers almost daily. It is more than obvious that we have many things to be thankful for as we head into the Christmas season.”

During the year, wage and salary employment increased by 46,600, with gains in the education and healthcare services sectors, professional and business services sectors, and manufacturing, among others.

Payroll employment rose by 17,100 in October. Monthly increases were recorded in the professional and business services sector, the government sector and the trade, transport and utilities sector, among others.

“Alabama had notable job growth in October for both the month and the year,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington. “This growth has actually set a brand new record in Alabama for how many jobs our economy supports. We now have almost 47,000 more jobs than last year. That is very encouraging.”

Total personal weekly wages rose to $1,017.98 in October, a new record high.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 1.8%, Cullman County at 1.9% and Marshall County at 2.0%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 9.6%, Lowndes County at 6.6% and Perry County at 6.5%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are Homewood at 1.6%, Vestavia Hills and Trussville at 1.7%, and Alabaster and Madison at 1.8%. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Selma at 7.2%, Prichard at 6.5% and Anniston, Gadsden and Bessemer at 4.4%.

The labor force participation rate, which represents the number of people actively looking for work, rose to 57.4% in the state from 57.1% in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This figure was also higher than the October 2021 reading of 56.4%. This figure is lower compared to the national labor force participation rate for October at 62.2%.

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