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City of Madison among lowest statewide in unemployment rates

MONTGOMERY – The state of Alabama can adapt an old Navy term when it comes to unemployment — steady as she she goes with a labor force participation rate at 57.4%.

Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced Friday the latest numbers, and while overall statistics held steady the percentage of prime-age workers increased by two-tenths of a percentage point to 78.9 throughout March. Over the year, this number increased by one and a half percentage points from 77.4%. Prime-age workers are those aged 25-54 years.

“The number of prime age people that are holding down jobs continues to increase,” Washington said. “That number is very close to a full 80 percent of prime age individuals working. We remain hopeful that this trend will continue throughout the year, especially as the state works to raise its overall labor force participation rate.”

Meanwhile, Madison was among the major cities in second on the heels of Vestavia Hills, which came in at 2% to lead cities with the lowest unemployment rate. Next were Alabaster, Homewood, and Madison at 2.1% and Hoover and Trussville 2.2%.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 6.5%, Prichard at 5.7%, and Bessemer and Mobile at 4.3%.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby at 2.3%, Morgan, Marshall, and Cullman counties at 2.5%, and Madison, Limestone, Elmore and Autauga counties at 2.6%.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox at 8.8%, Perry at 6.6% and Greene at 5.9%.

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 3%, unchanged from February 2024’s revised rate and above March 2023’s rate of 2.3%. The rate represents 70,894 unemployed persons, compared to 69,057 in February and 52,332 in March 2023.

The number of people counted as employed increased by 21,335 over the year to 2,260,786. The civilian labor force also increased to 2,331,680, with 39,897 more people joining over the year.

“Nearly 40,000 more people have entered the workforce since last year,” Washington said. “More people are employed than last year, and we’ve increased the number of jobs our economy is supporting. Our metrics are looking great right now.”

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 38,900 to 2,187,200, with gains in the private education and health services sector (+10,500), the government sector (+9,300), and the manufacturing sector (+7,200), among others.

Over the month, wage and salary employment increased by 5,300, with gains in the government sector (+2,400), the leisure and hospitality sector (+2,400), and the manufacturing sector (+1,300).

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