High praise deserved for low unemployment

Published 10:25 am Sunday, May 15, 2022

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By BETH CHAPMAN | Guest Columnist

Just about everyone who wants a job in most parts of Alabama should have one by now with unemployment at 2.9 percent.

That low rate is tied for the all-time low in our state’s history. The latest numbers show an improvement over the 3.0 percent rate in February and 3.7 percent in March of this year.

For the most part, Alabamians have never had a problem wanting to work. We have an innate work ethic and, as a whole, we take a great deal of pride in the work we do. That’s of course not everyone everywhere, but that is the spirit of the average Alabamian I believe.

Things are on an upswing and attribute it to whomever and whatever you’d like, it’s a great thing for our state, our citizens and our economy.

While the March rate represents 65,485 unemployed people, that’s the lowest number recorded in our state’s history. That number is down by 8,663 in February and an astounding 82,443 in that same time in 2021 – six months before the beginning of the COVIC-19 pandemic.

The number of people employed rose by 36,734 over the year to 2,204,978, and there have been 40,000 jobs gained since last year.

According to the Alabama Department of Labor, the civilian labor force increased by 9,901 to 2,270,463 over the month. The number of people employed increased by 36,734 over the year to 2,204,978.

Alabama has seen excellent job growth with more than 40,000 new jobs since last year.

Since last month, the greatest gains were seen in construction with 2,200 jobs; leisure and hospitality with 2,200; and the government sector with 2,500.

Shelby County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state with 1.7%. Cullman had 1.8 percent; and Limestone, Marshall and Morgan counties all followed with 1.9 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County with 8.8 percent; Lowndes with 6.5 percent; and Perry with 6.3 percent.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are Alabaster and Vestavia Hills at 1.4 percent; Homewood at 1.5 percent; and Hoover and Trussville at 1.6 percent.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Selma at 6.9 percent; Prichard at 5.0 percent; and Anniston at 4.7 percent.

While high gas prices approaching inflation and taxes might be fodder for political speeches, you won’t hear anyone talking about unemployment. There’s only high praise for low unemployment in Alabama.