Ivey: Workforce at record high; Alabama maintains 2.6% unemployment rate

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Gov  Kay Ivey on Friday announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted July unemployment rate remained unchanged from June’s rate of 2.6%, well below July 2021’s rate of 3.4%. July’s rate represents 59,419 unemployed persons, a new record low, compared to 60,307 in June and 77,076 in July 2021.

“Alabama’s historically low unemployment rate keeps holding strong, all while we continue breaking other new records. Today, I consider one of the best numbers to be that we, once again, have more people working than ever before,” said Ivey. “We will not relent on our efforts. We will continue working hard to support businesses as they seek more employees, while also connecting folks in our workforce with existing resources to ensure they are highly skilled and well-equipped.”

(File photo from Office of Gov. Kay Ivey)

The civilian labor force, which is the number of people who are either working or looking for work, has increased to its highest ever level at 2,291,962, representing a yearly increase of 47,818. The number of people counted as employed has also reached a new record high at 2,232,543, representing a yearly increase of 65,475.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 34,300, with gains in the construction sector (+8,700), the education and health services sector (+7,200) and the manufacturing sector (+5,300), among others.

“Alabama’s record-low unemployment rate is continuing to hold steady, and we are continuing to see other record-breaking employment statistics, month after month,” said Labor Sec. Fitzgerald Washington. “People are working in Alabama in record numbers, and employers are adding jobs in nearly all major industry sectors, gaining more than 34,000 jobs since last year Wages are increasing in Alabama as well. We’re seeing the second highest weekly wage rate in history, an increase of nearly $28 per week.”

Average weekly wages are at their second highest level, measuring $1,005.34 per week.  Additionally, the trade, transportation and utilities sector and the professional and business services sector reached new record high weekly wage levels, at $820 and $1,332.54, respectively.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 2.1%, Marshall and Cullman Counties at 2.4% and St. Clair, Limestone, Clay, and Blount Counties at 2.5%.  Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 11.3%, Perry County at 8.3% and Lowndes County at 8.1%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Trussville and Vestavia Hills at 1.9%, Homewood at 2.0% and Alabaster and Madison at 2.1%.  Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 9.4%, Prichard at 7.5% and Bessemer at 4.9%.