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Alabama’s unemployment rate unchanged at 2.2% in May

Alabama’s unemployment rate remained at a record-low 2.2% in May, unchanged from April and down from 2.5% in May 2022.

The new figure represents a new low in the number of unemployed people: 51,445, Gov. Kay Ivey’s office said in a written statement this morning.

“I’m proud to announce that not only has our state’s unemployment rate remained strong and steady but is accompanied by a total jobs count that has once again reached a record high,” Ivey said in the statement. “Despite facing a challenging national economy, Alabama has pressed onward to deliver strong and stable economic results. With a highly skilled workforce, economic incentives curated for success and red tape being cut where necessary, Alabama remains as the Southeast’s hub for economic growth and opportunity for all.”

The number of Alabamians employed rose year-over-year by more than 14,000 to 2.24 million.

“Since last year, our employers have added more than 40,000 jobs, creating an excellent economic climate for Alabama,” Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said. “We are holding steady with a record low unemployment rate, more and more people are working, and people are joining the labor force in record numbers, which indicates confidence in the economy.”

While the unemployment rate measures those activity seeking jobs, state officials remain concerned about the labor participation rate — able-bodied adults in the workforce — of just under 57%.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 40,500, with gains in the private education and health sector, the government sector and the professional and business services sector, among others.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates in May were: Shelby, 1.6%; Morgan and Cullman, 1.7%; and Limestone, Madison, Marshall and St. Clair, 1.8%.

Counties with the highest unemployment were: Wilcox, 6.8%; Dallas, 4.5%; and Clarke, 4.3%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment were: Vestavia Hills, 1.4%, Alabaster, Homewood, Madison, and Trussville, 1.5%; and Hoover,  1.6%.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates were: Selma, 5.5%; Prichard, 4.3%; and Bessemer, 3.3%.

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