Governor Ivey Announces Alabama’s July Unemployment Rate is 3.2%

State remains below national rate, wages hit new record high

MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey and Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced today that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted July 2021 unemployment rate is 3.2%, down from June’s rate of 3.3%, and well below July 2020’s rate of 7.4%. July’s rate represents 71,627 unemployed persons, compared to 73,769 in June and 165,510 in July 2020. Alabama remains below the July national rate of 5.4%.

“Each month we edge closer and closer to our pre-pandemic unemployment rate,” said Governor Kay Ivey. “Employers have added over 73,000 jobs in the past year, and nearly 83,000 more people are working today than they were last year. Industries that were hit the hardest are seeing employment numbers increase monthly. We’ll keep working as hard as we can to continue this remarkable progress.”

In July, 2,138,925 people were counted as employed, up 82,577 from July 2020.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 73,100 with the biggest gains seen in leisure and hospitality (+25,400), manufacturing (+11,900), and education and health services (+10,700), among others. Annual losses were seen in construction and mining and logging.

“The Alabama Career Center System continues to connect employers and job seekers through local and regional job fairs. These collaborative community events are targeting industry sectors that still need employees and job seekers looking for new or better opportunities,” said Washington. “Those sectors, along with wages, are hitting new record highs. The average weekly wage for the private sector was up a whopping $64.16 over the year.”

Total private average weekly earnings measured $986.29 in July, a new record high.  This represents a yearly increase of $64.16 and a monthly increase of $20.46. Additionally, the leisure and hospitality sector hit a new record high, with weekly wages rising to $402.98, up $51.56 over the year, and $13.37 over the month.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 2.1%, Blount County at 2.2%, and Cullman and Marshall Counties at 2.3%.  Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 11.2%, Lowndes County at 9.7%, and Perry County at 9.4%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are Homewood at 1.8%, Vestavia Hills at 2.1%, and Hoover and Madison at 2.2%.  Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Selma at 9.4%, Prichard at 8.1%, and Anniston 6.2%.

July 2021 County Rate

July 2021 City Rate

July 2021 Map

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Communications Director Tara Hutchison.

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“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.