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Alabama’s March Labor Force Participation Rate Holds Steady at 57.4%

April 19, 2024

Alabama’s March Labor Force Participation Rate Holds Steady at 57.4%

News Release

For Immediate Release: April 19, 2024

 

Alabama’s March Labor Force Participation Rate Holds Steady at 57.4%

Nearly 40,000 People Joined the Labor Force in the Past Year

MONTGOMERY – Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced today that Alabama’s labor force participation rate for March held steady at 57.4%. The percentage of prime-age workers 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 and above 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 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 year, wage and salary employment increased by 38,900 to 2,187,200, with gains 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).

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%.  Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 8.8%, Perry County at 6.0%, and Greene County at 5.9%.

Major 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%.  Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 6.5%, Prichard at 5.7%, and Bessemer and Mobile at 4.3%.

 

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Seasonal adjustment” refers to BLS’s practice of anticipating certain trends in the labor force, such as hiring during the holidays or the surge in the labor force when students graduate in the spring, and removing their effects to the civilian labor force. 
The Current Population (CPS), or the household survey, is conducted by the Census Bureau and identifies members of the work force and measures how many people are working or looking for work.
The establishment survey, which is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, surveys employers to measure how many jobs are in the economy.  This is also referred to as wage and salary employment.