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On Friday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Alabama's September unemployment rate remained at 2.6%, down from 3.2% a year ago. According to the Ivey administration, the state had 59,558 unemployed persons, compared to 58,913 the previous month and 71,989 in September 2021.
Despite the steady unemployment rate, the state's labor force participation rate continues to fall, dropping from 57.6% in August to 57.1% in September, significantly lower than the national average of 62.3%.
Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington emphasized that the Yellowhammer State was "within around 10,000 jobs of beating" the previously held jobs count record from 2019.
"While we are of course happy to maintain a record low unemployment rate, we're even more pleased to announce that we are within around 10,000 jobs of beating our previously held jobs count record – set in 2019 – and we saw the largest year-over-year job growth so far in 2022. We've added over 50,000 jobs since this time last year, which is remarkable," said Washington. "For months, Alabama has been holding steady on unemployment and increasing our jobs count, and we are hopeful this positive growth will continue."
Shelby County, at 1.8%, continued to lead the way with the lowest unemployment rate in Alabama, followed by Marshall and Cullman Counties at 2% and Morgan, Limestone, Chilton, and Blount Counties at 2.1%. Wilcox County remained the county with the highest unemployment rate at 9%, followed by Lowndes County at 6.6% and Dallas County at 6.2%.
The major cities with the lowest unemployment rates were Vestavia Hills at 1.5%, Homewood at 1.6% and Trussville at 1.7%. The major cities with the highest unemployment rates were Selma at 7.3%, Prichard at 6.0% and Anniston at 4.2%.
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