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Muscle Shoals
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Fort Payne

State labor force participation rate unchanged; Tenn. Valley counties have low unemployment

MONTGOMERY – While the state’s labor force participation rate for February was unchanged from January, three North Alabama counties have the lowest jobless rates in Alabama.

The participation rate remains at 57.4%, but the percentage of prime-age workers increased by 0.1 percentage point to 78.7% over the month, according to Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. Over the year, this number increased by 1.3 percentage points from 77.4%. Prime-age workers are those aged 25-54 years.

“The growth in the prime-age labor force participation rate is truly encouraging,” said Washington. “We continue to see both monthly and yearly growth in this population segment, which tells us that the folks who can and should be working are doing their part and steadily joining the labor force.”

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 3%, up from January’s rate of 2.9%. and up from February 2023’s rate of 2.3%. The rate represents 69,086 unemployed persons, compared to 66,558 in January and 53,034 in February 2023.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 2.6%, Morgan County at 2.7%, and Madison and Limestones counties at 2.8%.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 10.6%, Dallas County at 6.8%, and Perry County at 6.6%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Homewood and Vestavia Hills at 2.4%, Alabaster, Hoover, Madison, and Trussville at 2.5 %, and Northport at 2.7%.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 7.8%, Prichard at 6.5%, and Anniston, Gadsden, and Mobile at 4.8%.

The number of people counted as employed increased by 23,963 over the year to 2,258,997. The civilian labor force also increased to 2,328,083, with 40,015 more people joining over the year.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 39,500 to 2,183,600, with gains in the private education and health services sector (+10,900), the government sector (+9,300), and the manufacturing sector (+6,600), among others.

Over the month, wage and salary employment increased by 21,800, with gains in the private education and health services sector (+5,400), the professional and business services sector (+3,400), and the government sector (+3,300).

“Job growth is also rising in Alabama,” said Washington. “Our economy is supporting nearly 40,000 more jobs than we were last year.”

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