Alabama’s February unemployment rate was at record low

Published 11:43 am Friday, March 27, 2020

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MONTGOMERY – Before the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were being felt, Alabama’s unemployment rate was at a record low.

Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted February unemployment rate was unchanged at 2.7 percent, a record low, and well below February 2019’s rate of 3.5 percent.

February’s rate represents 2,184,248 employed persons, up 23,325 over the year.

Wage and salary employment increased in February by 13,000. 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 ($1,144.94)
  • Leisure and hospitality ($336.69)

All 67 counties experienced over-the-year rate drops, and 65 of 67 counties saw experienced over-the-month rate drops.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Shelby County at 2.1 percent, Madison County at 2.3 percent, and Tuscaloosa, Morgan, Marshall, Limestone, and Lee Counties at 2.4 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox County at 8.5 percent, Clarke County at 5.6 percent and Greene County at 5.5 percent.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates were: Vestavia Hills at 1.6 percent, Homewood, Hoover and Northport at 1.9 percent, and Madison at 2 percent.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates were: Selma at 5.9 percent, Prichard at 5.8 percent and Gadsden at 4.7 percent.