Jobs are plentiful in Alabama.

This was further demonstrated on Friday when Gov. Kay Ivey announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted April unemployment rate is 2.8%, down from the March rate of 2.9% and well below April 2021’s rate of 3.6%. April’s rate of 2.8% is a new all-time record low unemployment rate for Alabama.

“I am thrilled that after 202 years of trying, Alabama has once again reached a new record low unemployment rate, and this forward momentum is only continuing,” Ivey said in a statement. “The people of Alabama want to work, plain and simple, and that combined with our efforts helped us reach the lowest unemployment rate in our state’s history, yet again. We have more people working today than at any other point in our state’s history. We are shattering record after record, and we’re just getting started!”

“I can’t tell you the last time I’ve seen a jobs report with this many positives,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “This is great news for Alabama’s economy and especially for our coastal region as we move into the prime tourist season. On top of the other records, we’ve also increased wages to a new record high, with average weekly wages gaining over $21 dollars over-the-year. Additionally, the leisure and hospitality sector set yet another record for weekly wages, with a yearly increase of more than $28.”

April’s labor report showed that just 63,208 persons are unemployed, a new record low, compared to 65,441 in March and 81,599 in April 2021. Some 2,213,189 people were counted as employed in April, setting another new record high. That is up from 2,204,911 in March and up 43,594 from April 2021. The civilian labor force increased by 25,203 over-the-year to 2,276,397.

As most employers know, Alabama’s actual unemployment rate for April is even lower than that at just 2.1%; the 2.8% rate is the seasonally adjusted number. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 3.6%.

Wages are also rising as employers are paying more than ever before to attract workers. Total private weekly wages increased in April to $990.46, a new record high, and an increase of $21.12 from April 2021.

The leisure and hospitality sector’s weekly wages also set a new record high, increasing from $382.92 in April 2021 to $411.31 this month, representing a yearly increase of $28.39.

Ivey visited Conecuh County last week, touting the strong numbers achieved by the state’s tourism industry.

Wage and salary employment increased in April by 6,000.  Monthly gains were seen in the leisure and hospitality sector (+3,200), the manufacturing sector (+2,000), and the government sector (+1,500), among others.  Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 42,800, with gains in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+11,100), the leisure and hospitality sector (+10,400), and the manufacturing sector (+6,300), among others.

Alabama’s actual labor force participation rate in April was just 56.8% which is down from March’s 57.1%, and little changed from April of 2021’s 56.7%. The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the population that is working or actively looking for work. The American Labor Force Participation Rate nationally also fell to 62.0% which is down from 62.4% in March but higher than the 61.4% in April 2021. Alabama’s seasonally adjusted labor participation rate is actually a bit higher at 57.7%. The national average is 62.2%. This means that 42.3% of Alabamians are not working nor actively looking for work, while 37.8% nationally are in that same category.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 1.4%, Marshall County at 1.5%, and Morgan, Madison, Limestone, Elmore, Cullman, and Blount Counties at 1.6%. The counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 7.7%, Lowndes County at 5.5% and Perry County at 5.4%.

The major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are Homewood at 1.1%, Trussville at 1.2%, and Alabaster and Vestavia Hills at 1.3%. The major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Selma at 6.9%, Prichard at 4.5%, and Anniston at 4.0%.

Ivey is seeking re-election and is campaigning on the record-low unemployment rate and the 50,000 jobs created during her tenure as governor.

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