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October unemployment nudges up to 2.7%

Alabama’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 2.7% in October, the first increase in about two years.

That compares to 2.6% in September and 3.1% in October of 2021, according to the Alabama Department of Labor. The unemployment rate hit record lows this year after steadily decreasing from record COVID-19-caused highs in early 2020.

“Despite the challenging economic climate nationally, Alabama continues holding steady. At 2.7 percent, we are now supporting more jobs than at any point in our state’s history,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a written statement today. “Our wages continue to move in the right direction, more world-leading firms are relocating here every day, and our workforce development efforts are producing newly credentialed workers almost every day. It’s more than apparent that we have much to be thankful for as we head into the holiday season.”

According to labor, over the year, wage and salary employment increased 46,600, including gains in the education and health services, professional and business services and manufacturing sectors.

“Alabama experienced remarkable job growth, both over the month and over the year, in October,” Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said. “This growth actually set a brand-new record in Alabama for how many jobs our economy is supporting. We have nearly 47,000 more jobs now than we did last year. That’s extremely encouraging.”

The unemployment rate measures the number of Alabamians who are actively seeking work but not those out of the labor market. October’s rate represents 61,760 unemployed people, down from 70,569 a year prior.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Shelby,1.8%; Cullman, 1.9%; and Marshall, 2%.  

Counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox, 9.6%, Lowndes, 6.6%; and Perry 6.5%.

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

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates were: Selma 7.2%; Prichard, 6.5%; and Anniston, Gadsden and Bessemer, 4.4%.

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