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State unemployment rate up slightly in December

Alabama’s unemployment rate was 2.8% in December, up slightly from 2.7% in November and below December 2021’s 3.1%.

In a written statement Friday, Gov. Kay Ivey stressed that more people were working in 2022. December’s rate represents 63,412 unemployed persons, compared to 63,004 in November and 69,434 in December 2021. People counted as employed rose over the year by 56,418 to 2,229,259, according to Alabama Department of Labor statistics.

“As we close out our economic reporting for 2022, I’m pleased to say that Alabama has recovered well from the pandemic and has maintained positive momentum throughout the year,” Ivey said. “We broke records all year long, reminding everyone that Alabama is the best place to live, to work and open a business. Our wages are up, jobs are plentiful and still growing and we’re seeing some of our highest employment in major sectors in more than a decade. I couldn’t be more proud of the progress we’ve made.”


The unemployment rate measures the number of Alabamians who are actively seeking work but not those out of the labor market.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 55,900, to a record high of 2.12 million. The largest gains were in education and health services, professional and business services and the government sectors.

“Our economy is supporting more jobs than ever before, with the addition of nearly 56,000 jobs since last year,” Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said. “This represents over-the-year job growth of 2.7%, which, excluding immediate pandemic recovery, is one of the highest job growth rates in more than 20 years. Also, we’ve got record high employment in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, and more people are working in the manufacturing and construction sectors since 2008.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Shelby, 1.5%; Cullman, 1.6%; and Morgan and Marshall,1.7%.  

Counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox, 9.1%; Clarke, 6.6%; and Dallas, 5.3%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates were: Vestavia Hills and Homewood, 1.3%; Trussville, Madison, Hoover, and Alabaster, 1.4%; and Athens and Northport, 1.7%.  

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates were: Selma, 6.3%; Prichard, 5.2%; and Bessemer, 3.5%.

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