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Alabama labor rate 57.1% in November

Alabama’s labor participation rate ticked up slightly in November to 57.1% from 57% in October.

The state’s unemployment rate also increased from 2.3% to 2.4%, the Alabama Department of Labor said this morning. A year ago, the unemployment rate was 2.6%.

“Our labor force participation rate increased this month slightly, but over the year, we saw a bit more growth, with the rate increasing by nearly half of a percentage point,” Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said in a written statement. “The prime-age worker labor force participation rate also showed modest improvement, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point over the month.”

Prime-age workers are ages 25-54 years. Their labor participation rate in November was 78.4%.

“This means that three out of every four prime-age Alabamians are holding down a job, and that number is steadily increasing, month over month,” Washington said.

Alabama workforce participation rate this year has trailed a national rate in the 62% range.

The number of people counted as employed increased by 40,100 over the year to a record high of 2.26 million.

Wage and salary employment increased in November by 17,400, according to labor. Monthly gains were seen in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, the private education and health services sector and the manufacturing sector, as well as others.

“This job growth continues improving, and we know that Alabama’s employers are continuing to add jobs each and every month,” Washington said. “We also saw modest over the year wage growth, and two large employment sectors saw their highest ever wages in November.”

The total private average weekly wage increased in November by $17.49 over the year to $1,010.82.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates in November were: Shelby, 1.8%; Morgan, 1.9%; Marshall and Bullock, 2%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates were: Vestavia Hills, 1.6%; Homewood, Madison, and Northport, 1.7%; and Alabaster, Hoover, and Trussville, 1.8%.

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