By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
Alabama’s unemployment rate for February was 4.0%, down for 4.3% in January. A year ago, in February 2020, the state’s unemployment rate was at an all-time low of 2.6%.
“The unemployment rate continues to drop and is getting closer to the lows we enjoyed pre-pandemic,” said Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington in a press release. “While this is good news, the number of unemployed people is still higher than last year. Employment assistance is the key to helping reduce this number and the Alabama Career Center System can help. There are 52 locations around the state that can help the unemployed and the underemployed.”
Wage and salary employment increased in February by 14,500. The biggest monthly gains were seen in leisure and hospitality (+4,600), professional and business services (+3,300); and government (+3,000), among others.
February’s rate represents 91,065 unemployed persons, compared to 97,725 in January and 58,639 in February 2020.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 2.1%, Blount and Cullman Countiesat 2.2%, and Franklin and Limestone Counties at 2.3%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 11.7%, Lowndes County at 11.6%, Perry County at 9.0%, and Dallas County at 8.2%.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Alabaster at 1.8%, Homewood at 1.9%, and Madison and Vestavia both at 2.0%. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Prichard at 11.1%, Selma at 10.3%, and Bessemer at 7.3%.