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No significant improvement in Alabama's March labor force Participation rate: still at 57.4%

Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington reported that Alabama's labor force participation rate for March held steady at 57.4%. There was a slight increasing in the percentage of prime-age workers did increased by two-tenths of a percentage point to 78.9% over the month. Over the year, this number increased by one and a half percentage points from 77.4%. Prime-age workers are those aged 25-54 years.

"The number of prime age people that are holding down jobs continues to increase," said Washington. "That number is very close to a full 80 percent of prime age individuals working. We remain hopeful that this trend will continue throughout the year, especially as the state works to raise its overall labor force participation rate."

Alabama's preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 3.0%, unchanged from February 2024's revised rate but significantly higher than March 2023's rate of 2.3%. The rate represents 70,894 unemployed persons, compared to 69,057 in February and 52,332 in March 2023.

The number of people counted as employed increased by 21,335 over the year to 2,260,786. The civilian labor force also increased to 2,331,680, with 39,897 more people joining over the course of the year.

"Nearly 40,000 more people have entered the workforce since last year," continued Washington. "More people are employed than last year, and we've increased the number of jobs our economy is supporting. Our metrics are looking great right now."

Over the course of the year, wage and salary employment have increased by 38,900 to 2,187,200. The biggest gains are in the private education and health services sector (+10,500), the government sector (+9,300), and the manufacturing sector (+7,200), among others.

Over the month, wage and salary employment increased by 5,300, with gains in the government sector (+2,400), the leisure and hospitality sector (+2,400), and the manufacturing sector (+1,300).

The Alabama Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 2.3%, Morgan, Marshall, and Cullman Counties at 2.5%, and Madison, Limestone, Elmore, and Autauga Counties at 2.6%. The counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 8.8%, Perry County at 6.0%, and Greene County at 5.9%.

The major Alabama cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills at 2.0%, Alabaster, Homewood, and Madison at 2.1%, and Hoover and Trussville at 2.2%. The major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 6.5%, Prichard at 5.7%, and Bessemer and Mobile at 4.3%.

The state legislature is considering a package of legislation that it hopes will improve the workforce participation rate in the state.

The workforce participation rate is the percentage of Alabamians 16 year old and over who are in the workforce.

The workforce participation number includes unemployed persons who are actively looking for employment.


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