For Immediate Release: March 25, 2022
Alabama’s February Unemployment Rate is 3.0%
MONTGOMERY – Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced today that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted February unemployment rate is 3.0%, down from January’s rate of 3.1%, and below February 2021’s rate of 3.8%. February’s rate represents 68,703 unemployed persons, compared to 69,125 in January and 85,058 in February 2021. This represents the lowest level of unemployment since November 2019, when it measured 70,176.
“We’re excited to see a drop in our unemployment rate after holding steady for the past five months,” said Washington. “In February, our civilian labor force increased, employment increased, and unemployment dropped to its lowest level since November 2019. These are great numbers, and we’re hopeful we that we will only see them improve as the year progresses.”
The civilian labor force increased by 10,018 over the month to 2,260,361. The number of people counted as employed rose by 25,456 over the year to 2,191,658, marking the first time the employment count surpassed 2,190,000 since January 2020.
Wage and salary employment increased in February by 20,600. Monthly gains were seen in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+4,800), the professional and business services sector (+4,400), and the leisure and hospitality sector (+3,900), among others.
Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 40,400, with gains in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+15,200), the leisure and hospitality sector (+11,800), and the manufacturing sector (+4,600), among others.
“We had some pretty good news on the wage front as well,” continued Washington. “Our total private weekly wages hit its second highest point at $984.56, which is $62.93 more per week than last year. Three sectors hit new record highs, each with yearly increases of more than $100 per week!”
The construction sector, the professional and business services sector, and the educational and health services sector all attained new record high weekly wages, with yearly increases of $166.69, $125.31, and $104.85, respectively.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 2.1%, Cullman County at 2.2%, and Marshall and Limestone Counties at 2.3%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 10.5%, Lowndes County at 7.9%, and Perry County at 7.7%.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Homewood and Vestavia Hills at 1.8%, Alabaster and Trussville at 1.9%, and Hoover and Madison at 2.1%. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 8.6%, Prichard at 6.7%, and Anniston at 5.9%.
Members of the media seeking more information should contact Communications Director Tara Hutchison.
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“Seasonal adjustment” refers to BLS’s practice of anticipating certain trends in the labor force, such as hiring during the holidays or the surge in the labor force when students graduate in the spring, and removing their effects to the civilian labor force.
The Current Population (CPS), or the household survey, is conducted by the Census Bureau and identifies members of the work force and measures how many people are working or looking for work.
The establishment survey, which is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, surveys employers to measure how many jobs are in the economy. This is also referred to as wage and salary employment.