State, Pike County continues low unemployment rates

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey released on Friday the preliminary seasonal adjusted unemployment rates for Alabama, which have now hit a record-low 2.7 percent statewide.

The unemployment rate is down from April’s 2.8 percent and down much further from last May’s 3.6 percent.

“Once more, we are seeing the resiliency of Alabama’s workforce,” Ivey said. “Yet again, we’re breaking records that were set only a month ago.

“We’re nearly a full percentage point below the nation’s unemployment rate, we’ve been consistently ranked as having the lowest unemployment rate in the Southeast, and our wages are growing at a remarkable pace. In fact, Alabama’s average weekly wages have once again reached a brand-new record high, rising by 20 percent since May 2019. Alabamians are working and our business community is reaping the benefits.”

Statewide, May’s unemployment rates represent 61,621 unemployed adults in the state, a new record low, compared to the 63,184 in April and 80,191 in May 2021. Also, the number of residents counted as employed grew to 2,222,977 in May, which is a new record high.

Pike County is one of 50 Alabama counties that represent an unemployment rate under 2.9 percent with an unemployment rate of 2.4 percent, which is below the state average. According to the state’s numbers, Pike County currently has 387 people unemployed. Pike County’s unemployment rate is also lower than many of the surrounding counties like Montgomery County, Bullock County and Barbour County.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County (1.6 percent), Marshall County (1.8 percent) and the counties of Morgan, Limestone, Elmore and Cullman (1.9 percent). The counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County (8.5 percent), Lowndes and Perry Counties (5.9 percent) and Dallas County (5.4 percent).

The Civilian Labor Force (CLF) increased by 34,697 over-the-year to a 2022 record high of 2,284,598.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 45,700, with gains in the leisure and hospitality sector (+8,300), the professional and business services sector (+7,700), and the construction sector (+6,900), among others.

Wage and salary employment also increased in May by 9,800.  Monthly gains were seen in the professional and business services sector (+4,600), the construction sector (+1,900), and the leisure and hospitality sector (+1,900), among others.

“All of the elements needed for positive economic growth continue to improve and are consistently breaking records,” Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said. “This prolonged growth bodes well for Alabama.  More people have joined the labor force than at any other time this year, showing that people have confidence in their ability to find a job. More people are working, and fewer people are unemployed than ever before.  I’d say these are all things to celebrate!”