The Alabama Department of Labor announced Friday that October’s preliminary, seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate is 4.1%.
That number, unchanged from September, represents 2,122,970 people working which is about 5,500 more than last month’s record-breaking number of 2,117,359. The number of unemployed people also decreased from 90,818 to 89,754.
“More than 40,000 Alabamians now have jobs that didn’t last year,” said Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington. “That means that they are contributing to our state’s economy and providing for their families. Our labor force continues to grow, reaching its highest level of 2018, and the vast majority of those are finding jobs, which tells us that people have confidence in our economy.”
The civilian labor force (CLF) increased to 2,212,724 in October, its highest level of 2018, representing a year-over-year increase of 48,254.
“Additionally, we broke the record for the number of jobs our economy is supporting – AGAIN – beating the previous record by more than 12,000 jobs,” Washington added. “We’re beginning to see retail hiring pick up in preparation for the holidays, but over-the-year gains in high wage industries like manufacturing and construction are extremely encouraging, with yearly gains of 3.88% and 2.52%, respectively.”
Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 34,500, with gains in the professional and business services sector (+12,500), the manufacturing sector (+10,200), and the construction sector (+2,200), among others.
Wage and salary employment increased in October by 12,200. Monthly gains were seen in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+5,000), the professional and business services sector (+2,200), and the government sector (+2,200), among others.
Average weekly private sector earnings were again up over-the-year, rising by $18.88 per week. Construction earnings reached their highest level in history, rising to $984.13 per week.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 2.8%, Cullman County at 3.2%, and Marshall and Elmore Counties at 3.3%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 8.8%, Clarke County at 7.1%, and Lowndes County at 6.8%.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills and Homewood at 2.6%, Alabaster at 2.7%, and Madison and Northport at 2.8%. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 7.2%, Prichard at 6.8%, and Anniston and Bessemer at 5.2%.