Alabama’s October unemployment rate drops to 5.8%; Cullman tied for lowest in state at 3.2%


MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced today that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted October unemployment rate is 5.8%, down from September’s revised rate of 6.7% and higher than October 2019’s rate of 2.7%.  October’s rate represents 130,329 unemployed persons, compared to 153,338 in September and 61,210 in October 2019.

Cullman County’s October unemployment rate is 3.2%, down from September’s rate of 3.9% and higher than October 2019’s rate of 2.2%.

“We’re glad to see nearly a drop of almost an entire percentage point in our unemployment rate this month,” said Washington. “We will continue to see fluctuations in these economic indicators as pandemic concerns remain, but this month showed growth in both the number of jobs we are supporting and the number of people who are working.”

The number of people counted as employed in October was 2,121,505, up from 2,119,297 in September, but down from the 2,186,771 measured in October 2019.

Wage and salary employment increased in October by 25,500.  Monthly gains were seen in the professional and business services sector (+9,300), the construction sector (+5,300), and the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+3,400), among others.  Over the year, wage and salary employment decreased 51,500, with losses in the leisure and hospitality sector (-27,300), the education and health services sector (-17,000), and the government sector (-8,200), among others.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Franklin and Cullman counties at 3.2%, Shelby, Randolph, Marshall and Blount counties at 3.3%, and Dekalb and Cherokee Counties at 3.4%.  Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Lowndes and Wilcox counties at 14.9%, Perry County at 10.5% and Dallas County at 10.4%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are Homewood and Vestavia Hills at 2.7%, Madison at 3.0% and Alabaster and Hoover at 3.2%.  Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Prichard at 15.2%, Selma at 12.7% and Bessemer at 10.8%.

For more information regarding how the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the unemployment rate, please visit