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Alabama unemployment rate remains below national numbers

August 21, 2021 GMT

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s unemployment rate for July remains well below the national rate, Gov. Kay Ivey said.

The preliminary, seasonally adjusted July rate is 3.2%. That’s down from June’s rate of 3.3% and well below July 2020′s rate of 7.4%, Ivey and state Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said in a news release. The July national rate was 5.4%.

Alabama’s July rate represents 71,627 people unemployed, compared to 73,769 in June and 165,510 in July 2020.

“Each month we edge closer and closer to our pre-pandemic unemployment rate,” Ivey said. “Employers have added over 73,000 jobs in the past year, and nearly 83,000 more people are working today than they were last year. Industries that were hit the hardest are seeing employment numbers increase monthly. We’ll keep working as hard as we can to continue this remarkable progress.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 2.1%, Blount County at 2.2%, and Cullman and Marshall Counties at 2.3%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 11.2%, Lowndes County at 9.7%, and Perry County at 9.4%.

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Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are Homewood at 1.8%, Vestavia Hills at 2.1%, and Hoover and Madison at 2.2%. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Selma at 9.4%, Prichard at 8.1%, and Anniston 6.2%.

Washington said the state is continuing efforts to connect employers and job seekers through local and regional job fairs.

“These collaborative community events are targeting industry sectors that still need employees and job seekers looking for new or better opportunities,” Washington said. “Those sectors, along with wages, are hitting new record highs. The average weekly wage for the private sector was up a whopping $64.16 over the year.”

Total private average weekly earnings measured $986.29 in July, a new record high. That’s a yearly increase of $64.16 and a monthly increase of $20.46, officials said. Additionally, the leisure and hospitality sector hit a new record high, with weekly wages rising to $402.98, up $51.56 over the year, and $13.37 over the month.