Unemployment in Alabama: 2.7%, Before Coronavirus Hit
The Alabama Department of Labor has released unemployment numbers for February, before the coronavirus hit the state and led to many business closures and layoffs.
The preliminary, seasonally adjusted February unemployment rate is unchanged at 2.7%, a record low, and well below February 2019’s rate of 3.5%.
February’s rate represents 2,184,248 people with jobs, up 23,325 over the year.
Wage and salary employment increased in February by 13,000. Monthly gains were seen in the professional and business sector (+5,000), the education and health services sector (+4,200), and the government sector (+3,300), among others.
Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 21,300, with gains in the government sector (+6,600), the education and health services sector (+5,300), and the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+2,800), among others.
Average weekly total private wages increased to $878.55 in February, up from $872.50 in January, and $842.75 in February 2019.
The following sectors saw record high wages in February 2020:
- Trade, transportation, and utilities $728.94
- Financial Activities
- Leisure & Hospitality
All 67 counties experienced over-the-year unemployment rate drops, and 65 of 67 counties saw experienced over-the-month rate drops.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 2.1%, Madison County at 2.3%, and Tuscaloosa, Morgan, Marshall, Limestone, and Lee Counties at 2.4%.
Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 8.5%, Clarke County at 5.6%, and Greene County at 5.5%.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills at 1.6%, Homewood, Hoover, and Northport at 1.9%, and Madison at 2.0%.
Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 5.9%, Prichard at 5.8%, and Gadsden at 4.7%.
These numbers are expected to change dramatically when newer figures are released, which would reflect the impact the coronavirus is having on Alabama’s economy. The Alabama Department of Labor has already released figures for March 15-21, which show a big increase in unemployment claims.