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State unemployment rate dropped to 3.4 percent in May

There were 75,458 Alabamians counted as unemployed in May.


Alabama’s unemployment rate decreased from 3.6 percent in April to 3.4 percent in May, the lowest it’s been since the pandemic started, according to the Alabama Department of Labor.

May’s seasonally adjusted rate represents 75,458 unemployed persons, down from 97,726 in April. That compares to 174,680 in May 2020, when the rate was 7.9 percent.

Average weekly earnings for private sector workers increased to a record-high $974.12.
“As we continue to see improvement in nearly all sectors of the economy, we’re also seeing record high wages in Alabama,” ADOL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said in a statement. “Once again, our average weekly wages are at new record high, representing an almost $67 per week over-the-year increase. Both the leisure and hospitality and manufacturing sectors are showing record high wages as well, with significant yearly increases. The economy is responding as we expected to labor force fluctuations brought about by the pandemic.”
In the leisure and hospitality sector, average weekly earnings increased to $387.36, up $27.55 over the year. In manufacturing, average weekly earnings rose to $1,209.84, up $191.04 over the year.
“Our record-breaking streak is continuing in May, and we hope that it continues throughout the rest of the year,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement. “Yet again, we’ve dropped our unemployment rate and each month we are getting closer and closer to our pre-pandemic record low unemployment rate of 2.6 percent. Our economy is adding jobs, and earlier barriers to joining the workforce have been significantly reduced. In fact, there are more job postings than there are people counted as unemployed! Alabama is, once again, open for business.”

Micah Danney is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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The preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched up to 2.9 percent from December's 2.8 percent.


The number of people counted as employed increased by 40,194 over the year to a record high.


Alabama’s November unemployment rate was 2.4 percent, up slightly from 2.3 percent in October.


“This job growth continues improving, and we know that Alabama’s employers are continuing to add jobs each and every month,” said Washington.