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Alabama job count a record high; December unemployment at 2.8%

Though Alabama’s unemployment rate ticked up in December from November, the number of those employed reached an all-time high, the governor’s office said today.

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted December unemployment rate is 2.8%, up from November’s rate of 2.7%. The rate a year ago December was 3.1%. Last month’s rate represents 63,412 unemployed people.

(Alabama Department of Labor/Contributed)

“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.” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “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.”

In the past year, wage and salary employment increased from 55,900 to a record 2,120,500 workers.

In the education and health services sector, there was an increase of 15,400. The professional and business services sector saw an increase of 12,700, and the government sector grew by 8,600, the report said.

Wage and salary employment grew in December by 300 with gains in the trade, transportation, utilities, government, and construction sectors.

“Our economy is supporting more jobs than ever before, with the addition of nearly 56,000 jobs since last year,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “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.”

The trade, transportation, and utilities sector is registering employment of 411,700 people, a record high.

The manufacturing sector, with employment of 272,900 people, is at its highest level since December 2008, while the construction sector, with employment of 104,900 people, is at its highest level since November 2008.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 1.5% Cullman County at 1.6%, and Morgan and Marshall counties at 1.7%.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 9.1%, Clarke County at 6.6%, and Dallas County at 5.3%.

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

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

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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