Alabama’s unemployment rate continues to tick down closer to pre-pandemic lows, is best in the Southeast again
Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington on Friday announced that the state’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March was 3.8%, down from February’s rate of 4.0%.
The latest rate is still above March 2020’s rate of 2.6%, however it is much better than the pandemic high of 13.2% unemployment in April 2020.
Alabama in March also saw itself fall comfortably below the national average of 6.0% unemployment.
March’s Yellowhammer State rate represents 84,670 unemployed persons, compared to 91,041 in February.
“Once again, our unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been since the pandemic began. We’re still not where we were before, but tremendous progress is being made,” stated Washington. “We have more jobs in March than we’ve had all year, and we’re seeing monthly wage growth in several industries.”
Wage and salary employment increased in March by 9,100 to 2,019,500, the highest recorded level in 2021.
“As the unemployment rate steadily drops, our focus must turn to the number of people still unemployed in Alabama. ADOL launched its 53rd Career Center in Washington County on April 6. This new center furthers our efforts to serve EVERY county in Alabama,” Washington added. “Our career centers stand ready to assist the unemployed in getting back into the workforce by providing training, educational assistance, and assistance in finding and applying for jobs. We can also assist employers with their hiring needs.”
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates in March were: Shelby and Cullman Counties at 2.0%; Limestone, Franklin and Blount Counties at 2.1%; and Marshall and Cleburne Counties at 2.2%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox County at 11.6%, Lowndes County at 10.6% and Perry County at 8.1%.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates were: Madison at 1.8%; Alabaster, Homewood, Hoover and Vestavia Hills at 1.9%; and Athens at 2.1%. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates were: Prichard at 10.0%, Selma at 9.4% and Bessemer at 6.4%.
Alabama’s preliminary March unemployment rate is 3.8%
Alabama’s preliminary January 2021 unemployment rate is 4.3%. https://t.co/lngjo9dtdR@GovernorKayIvey @ADOLSecretary @ALWorksSystem pic.twitter.com/KWaFekyR50
— ADOL (@al_labor) April 16, 2021
Alabama’s recent unemployment rate declines come after the successful Keep Alabama Open campaign over the winter months, which was spearheaded by the Business Council of Alabama. As other states shut down, Alabama focused on allowing businesses and other entities to stay open while following health guidelines in a safe and responsible manner.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn