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Unemployment rates for Madison, Morgan, Marshall and Limestone counties among best

MONTGOMERY – The unemployment rates in four north Alabama counties are this close to leading the state, and the same can be said for the City of Madison.

The Alabama Department of Labor released statistics Friday for September, and while statewide rates increased slightly from August’s 2.1% to 2.2%, Morgan, Marshall, Madison and Limestone counties of came in a little under those numbers.

Shelby County led Alabama’s unemployment September numbers at 1.9% with the four area counties previously mentioned coming in at 2% each. And though the statewide figure was up a tick, it easily beat out last year’s rate of 2.6% for the same month.

Counties with a rate of 2.1% include Elmore, Cullman and Chilton.

Meanwhile, the major city with the lowest unemployment rate was Vestavia Hills at 1.7%, followed by Alabaster, Homewood, Hoover and Madison at 1.8% and Trussville at 1.9%.

Other cities and their rates are Athens, 2.1%; Decatur, 2.2%; Florence, 2.5%; and Huntsville, 2.2%.

Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said the state’s labor force participation rate remained steady at 57 percent. The rate represents 50,179 unemployed persons, compared to 48,590 in August and 60,488 in September 2022.

The percentage of prime-age workers (ages 25-54) increased in September 2023 by two-tenths of a percentage point to 78.0.

“In Alabama, more than three-quarters of our prime-age working population is working,” Washington said. “We’re happy to see this monthly increase and are hopeful that continuing efforts to increase the labor force participation rate will help to bring these numbers up even higher.”

Counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox County at 7.4%, Dallas County at 5.1% and Perry at 4.6%. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates were Selma at 6.0%, Prichard at 4.7% and Bessemer at 3.9%.

The number of people counted as employed increased by 35,931 over the year to a new record high of 2,259,784. The civilian labor force also reached a new record high of 2,309,963, with 25,622 more people joining the labor force over the year.

“Additionally, we’re seeing increases in Alabamians’ wages,” Washington said. “Over the year, total weekly private wages increased by $20.44, putting more money in workers’ pockets.”

Over the year, average weekly wages for total private industry increased to $1,022.58, up from $1,002.14 in September 2022. The construction industry saw a new record weekly wage amount, rising by $87.53 over the year to $1,251.05.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 36,400, reaching 2,158,300, with gains in the private education and health services sector (+8,400), the government sector (+8,000), and the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+7,700), among others.

Wage and salary employment increased in September by 7,700. Monthly gains were seen in the government sector (+6,800), the private education and health services sector (+3,900), and the financial activities sector (+1,900), among others. 

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