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Alabama unemployment holds at 3.1%

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

Alabama’s unemployment rate in October held at 3.1%, the same as September and August, and down from 4.7% in October 2020, the Alabama Department of Labor said today.

“October’s unemployment rate held steady this month, despite ongoing pandemic related hiring struggles, and we actually dropped to the lowest number of unemployed people so far this year,” Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said in a written statement. “The labor force showed some positive growth this month, which is definitely welcome news as we begin to shift into the holiday hiring season. For more than a year, Alabama has proven that we will return to our pre-pandemic economic successes.”

October’s rate represents 67,829 unemployed persons, compared to 68,576 in September and 107,301 in October 2020. 

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 63,300, rising to 2,070,500, a new yearly high, with gains in the leisure and hospitality, manufacturing and the trade, transportation, and utilities sectors.

“In October, our economy was supporting more jobs than at any other time in 2021,” Washington said. “In fact, we’re within the 30,000-job range of breaking the all-time record high jobs count.  As hiring increases even more for the holidays, I’m hopeful we’ll soon be announcing that we’ve broken that record yet again.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Shelby and Cullman, 1.7%; Marshall and Blount, 1.8%; and Limestone, Franklin, Cleburne and Cherokee, 1.9%.  

Counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox, 9.7%; Lowndes, 7.8% and Perry, 7.1%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates were: Homewood, 1.5%, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Alabaster and Athens, 1.7%; and Madison, 1.8%.  Major cities with the highest unemployment rates were: Selma, 7.9%; Prichard, 6.5%; and Anniston, 5.8%.

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