Governor Ivey Announces Alabama March Unemployment Rate Ties Historic Low of 2.9%, Number of Unemployed Hits New Record Low

Governor Ivey Announces Alabama March Unemployment Rate Ties Historic Low of 2.9%, Number of Unemployed Hits New Record Low

MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey on Friday announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted March unemployment rate is 2.9%, down from February’s rate of 3.0%, and below March 2021’s rate of 3.7%. This unemployment rate ties the all-time record low unemployment rate previously registered in September 2019.

“Alabama has been on a roll as our folks have been eager to get to work, and the fact that we have once again hit our record low unemployment rate is proof positive of that,” said Governor Ivey. “We are not relenting our efforts, and I am confident Alabama will continue powering in the right direction because of our hardworking men and women. Truly, the best is yet to come.”

March’s rate represents 65,485 unemployed persons, the lowest ever on record, compared to 68,663 in February and 82,443 in March 2021.

“At no point in Alabama’s history have we recorded fewer people as unemployed,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “Alabamians are working, businesses are hiring, and we are getting back to normal with every passing month.”

The civilian labor force increased by 9,901 over the month to 2,270,463.  The number of people counted as employed rose by 36,734 over the year to 2,204,978.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 40,100, with gains in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+11,900), the leisure and hospitality sector (+10,500) and the construction sector (+4,500), among others.

Wage and salary employment increased in March by 3,800. Monthly gains were seen in the government sector (+2,500), the construction sector (+2,200) and the leisure and hospitality sector (+2,200), among others.

“We are continuing to see healthy job growth, with more than 40,000 jobs gained since last year,” continued Secretary Washington. “Wages in several sectors saw growth again this month, and two sectors reached an even higher record since last month.”

The construction sector and the professional and business services sector once again attained new record high weekly wages, with yearly increases of $104.19 and $124.52, respectively.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 1.7%, Cullman County at 1.8%, and Morgan, Marshall and Limestone Counties at 1.9%.  Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 8.8%, Lowndes County at 6.5%, and Perry County at 6.3%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Alabaster and Vestavia Hills at 1.4%, Homewood at 1.5%, and Hoover and Trussville at 1.6%.  Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 6.9%, Prichard at 5.0% and Anniston at 4.7%.

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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.