Alabama’s Labor Force Participation Rate Remains Steady at 57.0% – Number of People Employed at New Record High

Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced today that Alabama’s labor force participation rate remained at steady at 57.0%. The percentage of prime-age workers increased by two-tenths of a percentage point to 78.0% over the month. Prime-age workers are those aged 25-54 years.

“In Alabama, more than three-quarters of our prime-age working population is working,” said Washington. “We’re happy to see this monthly increase and are hopeful that continuing efforts to increase the labor force participation rate will help to bring these numbers up even higher.”

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted September unemployment rate increased slightly from August’s rate of 2.1% to 2.2%. September’s rate is well below September 2022’s rate of 2.6%. The rate represents 50,179 unemployed persons, compared to 48,590 in August and 60,488 in September 2022.

The number of people counted as employed increased by 35,931 over the year to a new record high of 2,259,784. The civilian labor force also reached a new record high of 2,309,963, with 25,622 more people joining the labor force over the year.

“Additionally, we’re seeing increases in Alabamians’ wages,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “Over the year, total weekly private wages increased by $20.44, putting more money in workers’ pockets.”

Over the year, average weekly wages for total private industry increased to $1,022.58, up from $1,002.14 in September 2022. The construction industry saw a new record weekly wage amount, rising by $87.53 over the year to $1,251.05.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 36,400, reaching 2,158,300, with gains in the private education and health services sector (+8,400), the government sector (+8,000), and the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+7,700), among others.

Wage and salary employment increased in September by 7,700. Monthly gains were seen in the government sector (+6,800), the private education and health services sector (+3,900), and the financial activities sector (+1,900), among others. 

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 1.9%, Morgan, Marshall, Madison, and Limestone Counties at 2.0%, and Elmore, Cullman, and Chilton Counties at 2.1%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 7.4%, Dallas County at 5.1%, and Perry County at 4.6%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills at 1.7%, Alabaster, Homewood, Hoover, and Madison at 1.8%, and Trussville at 1.9%. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 6.0%, Prichard at 4.7%, and Bessemer at 3.9%.