Alabama Wage and Salary Employment at Ten-Year High

MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey announced on Friday that Alabama’s wage and salary employment measured 2,039,200 in March, the highest since December 2007.
Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 24,600, with gains in the professional and business services sector (+7,700), the leisure and hospitality sector (+4,700), and the construction sector (+3,400), among others.
Wage and salary employment increased in April by 13,900. Monthly gains were seen in the professional and business services sector (+6,000), the leisure and hospitality sector (+4,900), and the construction sector (+2,300), among others.
“The good news just keeps coming in Alabama,” Governor Ivey said. “Our workforce is growing, more people are working, and businesses are moving to our great state.  We are proud of how much we’ve improved, and are working hard to build on that momentum.”
Alabama’s civilian labor force (CLF) increased 6,970 over the month, reaching its highest level so far in 2018.
“Alabama businesses are supporting more jobs than they have in more than a decade,” Ivey continued. “In fact, we’ve got the third highest wage and salary employment in history. This tells us that businesses in Alabama are hiring, and they’re confident in our economy.”
Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted April unemployment rate is 3.8%, unchanged from March’s rate of 3.8%, and well below April 2017’s rate of 4.8%.  2,086,659 people were counted as employed in April, an increase of 19,877 from last year.  April’s rate represents 83,208 unemployed persons, compared to 81,166 in March and 104,027 in April 2017.
Additionally, average weekly earnings increased $41.92 over the year.  Wages in the construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation, & utilities, financial activities, professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality sectors all increased over the year.
“All 67 Alabama counties experienced rate drops both over the month and over the year,” said Fitzgerald Washington, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor.  “Wilcox County, which traditionally has the highest unemployment rate in Alabama, saw its rate drop by 2.2 percentage points over the year.”
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 2.6%, Cullman County at 2.8%, and Marshall, Madison, and Elmore Counties at 3.0%.  Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 8.6%, Clarke and Lowndes Counties at 6.6%, and Greene County at 6.0%.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Homewood and Vestavia Hills at 2.2%, Alabaster at 2.5%, and Hoover, Madison, and Northport at 2.6%.  Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Prichard at 6.1%, Selma at 6.0%, and Anniston at 5.2%.
April 2018 City Rates
April 2018 County Rates
April 2018 County Map
Members of the media seeking more information should contact Communications Director Tara Hutchison at (334) 242-8616.
 Seasonal adjustment” refers to BLS’s practice of anticipating certain trends in the labor force, such as hiring during the holidays or the surge in the labor force when students graduate in the spring, and removing their effects to the civilian labor force. 
The Current Population (CPS), or the household survey, is conducted by the Census Bureau and identifies members of the work force and measures how many people are working or looking for work.
The establishment survey, which is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, surveys employers to measure how many jobs are in the economy.  This is also referred to as wage and salary employment.