Alabama’s unemployment rate is at a new record low, Gov. Kay Ivey’s office announced Friday.
The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 2.8 percent, down from March’s 2.9 percent and April 2021’s rate of 3,6 percent.
The civilian labor force increased by 25,203 from last year, reaching 2,276,397. The state’s number of employed people reached a record high 2,213,189.
“I am thrilled that after 202 years of trying, Alabama has once again reached a new record low unemployment rate, and this forward momentum is only continuing. The people of Alabama want to work, plain and simple, and that combined with our efforts helped us reach the lowest unemployment rate in our state’s history, yet again,” Ivey said in a statement. “We have more people working today than at any other point in our state’s history. We are shattering record after record, and we’re just getting started!”
Total private weekly wages increased in April to $990.46, a new record high, and an increase of $21.12 from April 2021, Ivey’s office said in a press release. Leisure and hospitality sector’s weekly wages also set a new record high, increasing from $382.92 in April 2021 to $411.31 this month, representing a yearly increase of $28.39.
“I can’t tell you the last time I’ve seen a jobs report with this many positives,” Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said in a statement. “This is great news for Alabama’s economy and especially for our coastal region as we move into the prime tourist season. On top of the other records, we’ve also increased wages to a new record high, with average weekly wages gaining over $21 dollars over-the-year. Additionally, the leisure and hospitality sector set yet another record for weekly wages, with a yearly increase of more than $28.”
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 1.4 percent, Marshall County at 1.5 percent, and Morgan, Madison, Limestone, Elmore, Cullman, and Blount Counties at 1.6 percent.
Alabama’s Black Belt counties are faring worse than the rest of the state, however. The highest unemployment rates are in Wilcox County, at 7.7 percent, Lowndes County at 5.5 percent, and Perry County at 5.4 percent. Larger cities with the high unemployment rates are Selma, at 6.9 percent, Prichard at 4.5 percent and Anniston, at 4.0 percent.