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ADOL: Unemployment dips to 3%

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

Alabama’s unemployment rate was 3% in February after holding at 3.1% the previous six months, the Alabama Department of Labor announced this morning.

That compares to 3.8% a year ago and the pre-pandemic record low of 2.6% in February 2020. 

“In February, our civilian labor force increased, employment increased, and unemployment dropped to its lowest level since November 2019,” ADOL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said in a written statement. “These are great numbers, and we’re hopeful that we will only see them improve as the year progresses.”

The unemployment rate measures the number of Alabamians who are actively seeking work. February’s rate represents 68,703 unemployed persons, compared to 69,125 in January and 85,058 in February 2021. The ADOL said this is the lowest level of unemployment since November 2019, when it measured 70,176.

Washington also said there was an increase in weekly wages in February.

“Our total private weekly wages hit its second highest point at $984.56, which is $62.93 more per week than last year,” he said. “Three sectors hit new record highs, each with yearly increases of more than $100 per week.”

The construction, professional and business services, and the educational and health services sectors all attained new record high weekly wages, with yearly increases of $166.69, $125.31, and $104.85, respectively, ADOL reported.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Shelby, 2.1%; Cullman, 2.2%; and Marshall and Limestone at 2.3%.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox, 10.5%; Lowndes, 7.9%, and Perry, 7.7%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates were: Homewood and Vestavia Hills, 1.8%; Alabaster and Trussville, 1.9%; and Hoover and Madison, 2.1%

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates were: Selma, 8.6%; Prichard, 6.7%; and Anniston, 5.9%.

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