Alabama’s unemployment rate remains low

State leaders report Alabama’s unemployment rate remains at a record low at 2.1%.  we were curious, who is being counted in those reports? WVUA 23 spoke with the Alabama Department of Labor‘s Communications Director Tara Hutchison who explained how this number is calculated.  

“What you have is your civilian labor for which are those 16 and older who are not institutionalized that are either working or want to work, “said Hutchinson. ” Then you have the others are the ones who are working they have a job and those are the ones we are considering employed person and unemployed person who are not working but wants a job and so your unemployment rate is just a fraction of those numbers.” 

In fact, Hutchinson says the numbers continue to drop each month and they are dropping for all the right reasons. 

“Sometimes you can see the unemployment rate drop and it is just simply a math function, “said Hutchinson. “ What we are seeing now is that our labor force, our civilian labor force, is also at its highest level ever with 2.3 million people in that labor force. Also factored in this number are the people looking for work.” 

However, this number of 2.1% also includes some people who are not represented.  

“The labor force participation rate which is going to be different from your unemployment rate and that will also count in everyone 16 and older who is working, not working and looking for work,” said Hutchinson.  

 And speaking of those looking for work, Hutchinson said right now it is a job seekers market.  

 “There are more jobs available than there are workers to fill them,” said Hutchinson. “So, employers are having to become very competitive in their hiring practices.”

Categories: Alabama News, Local News