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Alabama’s July unemployment rate falls to 3.2%, wages rise to record high

Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday, along with Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL) Secretary Fitzgerald Washington, announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted July 2021 unemployment rate is 3.2%, down from 3.3% last month.

The numbers reflect a strong economic recovery from the pandemic-related downturn, as the newly released rate is 4.2% lower than that of July 2020. Alabama continues to hold below the July national rate of 5.4%.

According to a release from the governor’s office, July’s rate represents 71,627 unemployed persons, compared to 73,769 in June and 165,510 in July 2020.

(Alabama Department of Labor)

Ivey said that her administration will continue its efforts to bring the state’s economy to pre-pandemic status.

“Each month we edge closer and closer to our pre-pandemic unemployment rate,” said 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.”

Washington touted the role the Alabama Career Center System has played in the recovery.

“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.”

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%.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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