Thomasville Times

Employment rates at all-time high

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The number of employed people and average weekly wages in Alabama reached all-time highs in October, according to Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington.

Clarke County has the third-highest unemployment rate among the 67 counties at 4.6%.

Those counted as employed increased by 38,038 over the year to a record high of 2,260,806. The civilian labor force also increased to a new record high of 2,313,002, with 29,791 more people joining over the year, and the average weekly wages rose to $1,027.76, Washington said.

Alabama’s labor-force participation rate remained steady at 57.0%. The percentage of prime-age workers increased by one-tenth of a percentage point to 78.1% over the month. Prime age workers are those aged 25-54 years.

“We are continuing to see positive growth in our prime-age worker labor force participation rate, with more than three out of every four prime-age Alabamians holding down a job,” Washington said. “One of the main components of the labor force participation rate is the state’s total population and Alabama has a larger portion of retired workers. We will continue to work to bring in other, more traditionally underutilized segments of the population to ensure that we are maximizing our workforce.”

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted October unemployment rate is 2.3%, up slightly from September’s 2.2%. October’s rate is well below October 2022’s rate of 2.6%. The rate represents 52,196 unemployed persons, compared to 50,166 in September and 60,443 in October 2022.

Average weekly wages in the construction and financial activities sectors reached new record highs, with construction wages increasing by $71.63 per week and financial activities wages increasing by $104.68 weekly.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 24,700, reaching a new record high of 2,163,400, with gains in the private education and health services sector (+8,700), the government sector (+7,400), and the trade, transportation and utilities sector (+5,900).

Wage and salary employment increased in October by 5,700. Monthly gains were seen in the professional and business services sector (+3,300), the government sector (+3,100) and the trade, transportation and utilities sector (+1,600).

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby at 1.8%, Morgan, Limestone, Cullman and Chilton at 1.9% and St. Clair, Marshall, Madison, Elmore, Cleburne, Cherokee, Bullock and Blount at 2.0%.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox at 7.8%, Dallas at 5.6% and Clarke and Perry at 4.6%.

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