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Alabama’s unemployment rate holds at record 2.6% in July

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

Alabama’s unemployment remained at a record low 2.6% in July, unchanged from June and down from 3.4% in July of 2021.

July’s rate represents 59,419 unemployed persons, a new record low, compared to 60,307 in June and 77,076 in July 2021, Gov. Kay Ivey’s office said in a written statement this morning. 

“Alabama’s historically low unemployment rate keeps holding strong, all while we continue breaking other new records,” Ivey said. “Today, I consider one of the best numbers to be that we, once again, have more people working than ever before. We will not relent on our efforts. We will continue working hard to support businesses as they seek more employees, while also connecting folks in our workforce with existing resources to ensure they are highly skilled and well-equipped.”

The number of people counted as employed also reached a new record high in July at 2,232,543, representing a yearly increase of 65,475.

The unemployment rate measures the number of Alabamians who are actively seeking work. 

As the unemployment rate has hit record lows and business owners say they’re struggling with a shortage of workers, state leaders are talking more about another group: those voluntarily not working. A recent report from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education said there are more than 300,000 people who could be reached for educational and work force participation.

“Alabama’s record-low unemployment rate is continuing to hold steady, and we are continuing to see other record-breaking employment statistics, month after month,” Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said in the statement. “People are working in Alabama in record numbers, and employers are adding jobs in nearly all major industry sectors, gaining more than 34,000 jobs since last year. Wages are increasing in Alabama as well. We’re seeing the second highest weekly wage rate in history, an increase of nearly $28 per week.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates in July were: Shelby, 2.1%; Marshall and Cullman, 2.4%; and St. Clair, Limestone, Clay, and Blount, 2.5%.  

Counties with the highest unemployment were: Wilcox, 11.3%; Perry, 8.3%; and Lowndes, 8.1%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment were: Trussville and Vestavia Hills, 1.9%; Homewood, 2%; and Alabaster and Madison, 2.1%.  

Major cities with the highest unemployment were: Selma, 9.4%, Prichard, 7.5%; Bessemer, 4.9%.

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