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Alabama unemployment rate 2.5% in February

Alabama’s unemployment rate dipped to 2.5% in February, down from 2.6% in January and tying the record low, Gov. Kay Ivey announced this morning.

February’s rate represents 56,221 unemployed persons, a new record low, compared to 58,392 in January 2023 and 58,943 in February of 2022.

“Once again, we’ve hit a record low unemployment rate,” Ivey said in a written statement this morning. “While it may seem like we break these records month after month, we know that even with record low unemployment, we still have a duty to provide good, quality jobs to every Alabamian who wants one. I’m proud of our economic successes and reaffirm my commitment to continue to work to make this state the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

Revised 2022 rates show unemployment in Alabama first hit 2.5% last spring.

The unemployment rate measures the number of Alabamians who are actively seeking work but not those out of the labor market. The state’s workforce participation rate — adults holding or seeking jobs — is about 56.8%. That more than 40% of Alabamians are not in the labor force is a growing concern to state leaders and has been mentioned as lawmakers file workforce development bills this legislative session. 

Wage and salary employment increased 43,900 over the year, with annual gains seen in the private education and health services sector, the manufacturing sector, the government sector and the professional and business services sector, among others.

“Job growth of nearly 44,000 over the year is definitely something to be proud of,” Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said. “We know that employers still have jobs that need to be filled, and we’re working to match those employers with those jobseekers. Our Career Center System has so many tools to help everyone succeed – I would definitely recommend visiting your local center if you need any assistance.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates in February were: Shelby, 1.7%; Morgan and Madison,1.9%; and St. Clair, Marshall, Limestone, Elmore, Cullman and Blount, 2%. 

Counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox, 8%;  Greene, 5.5%; and Dallas, 5.1%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates were: Homewood and Madison, 1.5%; Trussville and Vestavia Hills, 1.6%; and Alabaster, Hoover and Northport, 1.7%.  

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates were: Selma, 6.5%; Prichard, 4.3%; and Bessemer, 3.8%.

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