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Alabama’s labor participation remains at 57.5% in May

A record-high number of people, 2.2 million, were employed in Alabama in May but the state’s labor force participation rate remained at 57.5%, the Alabama Department of Labor announced this morning.

The percentage of prime-age workers, those 25 to 54 years old, did increase just slightly to 79.2%.

“Our over the year growth in prime-age workers participating in the labor force continues to be encouraging,” Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said in a written statement. “We’re also seeing record high numbers in our civilian labor force and the number of people who are working.  In May, nearly 38,000 more people decided to enter into the job market than at the same time last year.”

Alabama lags the national labor participation rate of 62.5%.

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.0%, down slightly from April’s revised rate of 3.1% but up from May 2023’s 2.3%.

The newest rate represents 70,679 unemployed people seeking work, compared to 72,045 in April and 52,341 in May 2023.

The number of people counted as employed increased by 19,648 over the year to 2,266,164, according to labor.

This job growth is indicative of positive trends in our economy,” Washington said. “As we continue to set higher and higher record jobs count numbers, we’re also seeing wage growth in many sectors, with some hitting new record highs.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates in May were:  Shelby, 1.8%; Morgan, 1.9%; and Cullman, Elmore, Limestone, Madison and Marshall, 2%.

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

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