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Madison has 1.8% jobless rate; region’s unemployment relatively unchanged

MONTGOMERY The city of Madison posted a 1.8% unemployment rate for October, the lowest in the region and among the state’s major cities, according to figures released by the governor’s office Friday.

The state’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted October unemployment rate is 2.7%, up slightly from September’s rate of 2.6% but below October 2021’s rate of 3.1%. October’s rate represents 61,760 unemployed persons, down from 70,569 in October 2021.

Madison’s number is down from September’s 1.9% and a year ago. In other area cities, Athens had a 2.1% unemployment for October, but it is an increase over September’s rate (2%) and last October (1.8%). Decatur posted a 2.2% rate in October, an improvement over 2.3% in September and 2.4% a year ago. Huntsville had a 2.3% rate in October, which is unchanged from September and also last October. Florence’s 2.5% rate for last month is a decrease from 2.6% in September and 2.7% a year ago.

Across North Alabama, the numbers remain basically unchanged for the counties.

Marshall County had the lowest unemployment of the 10-county 256 Today region at 2%, which is unchanged from September and up from last October’s 1.9%. Limestone and Morgan counties each posted a 2.1% unemployment rate and each was unchanged from September. Morgan County also had a 2.1% rate last October while Limestone County’s rate a year ago was 2%.

Madison County’s rate was 2.2%, which is unchanged from September and last October; DeKalb County had a 2.2% rate last month, unchanged from September but lower than last October’s 2.3%. Franklin County also had a 2.2% unemployment rate in October, but it was up from September’s 2.1% and 2% a year ago.

Though Colbert County had the highest jobless rate in the region at 3%, it had the largest decrease from last October’s 3.3%.

Also in the Shoals, Lawrence County had a 2.4% unemployment rate, an increase over September’s 2.3% and last October’s 2.3%. Lauderdale County showed an improvement over a year ago. Its 2.5% rate for October was unchanged from September but beat last October’s 2.6%.

“Despite the challenging economic climate nationally, Alabama continues holding steady. At 2.7 percent, we are now supporting more jobs than at any point in our state’s history,” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “Our wages continue to move in the right direction, more world-leading firms are relocating here every day, and our workforce development efforts are producing newly credentialed workers almost every day.

“It’s more than apparent that we have much to be thankful for as we head into the holiday season.”

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 46,600, with gains in the education and health services sector (+11,700), the professional and business services sector (+9,500) and the manufacturing sector (+6,800), among others.

Wage and salary employment increased in October by 17,100. Monthly gains were seen in the professional and business services sector (+3,900), the government sector (+3,600) and the trade, transportation and utilities sector (+2,600), among others.

“Alabama experienced remarkable job growth, both over the month and over the year, in October,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “This growth actually set a brand-new record in Alabama for how many jobs our economy is supporting.

“We have nearly 47,000 more jobs now than we did last year. That’s extremely encouraging.”

Total private weekly wages increased in October to $1,017.98, a record high.

Wages in the construction industry, the trade, transportation and utilities industry, as well as the professional and business services industry saw record highs in October.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 1.8%, Cullman County at 1.9% and Marshall County at 2.0%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 9.6%, Lowndes County at 6.6% and Perry County at 6.5%. For the complete list of counties, click here

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Homewood at 1.6%, Vestavia Hills and Trussville at 1.7% and Alabaster and Madison at 1.8%. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 7.2%, Prichard at 6.5%, and Anniston, Gadsden and Bessemer at 4.4%. For the complete list of cities, click here

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