Alabama’s unemployment rate stable in October; during Southwest Ala. stays high

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Gov. Kay Ivey announced last week that Alabama’s interim, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 2.7%, slightly above the September rate of 2.6% and below the October 2021 rate of 3.1%. The October rate represents 61,760 unemployed, compared to 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,” Gov. 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 every day. 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 education and healthcare (+11,700), professional and business services (+9,500) and manufacturing (+6,800), among others.

Payroll employment rose by 17,100 in October. Monthly increases were recorded in the professional and business services sector (+3,900), the government sector (+3,600) and the trade, transport and utilities sector (+2,600), 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.

Wages in construction, trade, transport and utilities, and professional and business-related services hit new record highs in October.

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%. The largest cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 7.2%, Prichard at 6.5% and Anniston, Gadsden and Bessemer at 4.4%.