By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News
Alabama’s preliminary unemployment rate in May was 2.7%, another record low, officials announced today.
That compares to the previous record of 2.8% in April and 3.6% in May 2021.
“Once more, we are seeing the resiliency of Alabama’s workforce,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a written statement. “Yet again, we’re breaking records that were set only a month ago. We’re nearly a full percentage point below the nation’s unemployment rate, we’ve been consistently ranked as having the lowest unemployment rate in the Southeast, and our wages are growing at a remarkable pace.”
The unemployment rate measures the number of Alabamians who are actively seeking work and the April rate represents 61,621 people, a new record low, compared to 63,184 in April and 80,191 in May 2021, the governor’s office said.
The number of people employed also reached a high of 2.22 million in May. That’s up from 2.21 million in April and 2.16 million in May 2021.
Weekly wages rose too, averaging $1,004.65 in May, up from $995.44 in April, and $978.06 in May 2021.
“In fact, Alabama’s average weekly wages have once again reached a brand-new record high, rising by 20% since May 2019,” Ivey said.
All of the elements needed for positive economic growth continue to improve and are consistently breaking records, said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington.
“This prolonged growth bodes well for Alabama,” Washington said. “More people have joined the labor force than at any other time this year, showing that people have confidence in their ability to find a job. More people are working, and fewer people are unemployed than ever before.”
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Shelby, 1.6%; Marshall, 1.8%; and Morgan, Limestone, Elmore and Cullman, 1.9%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox, 8.5%; Lowndes and Perry, 5.9%; and Dallas, 5.4%.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates were: Alabaster, 1.4%; Homewood and Trussville, 1.5%; and Hoover and Madison, 1.6%. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates were: Selma, 7%; Prichard, 5.4%; and Gadsden, 3.8%.