Now hiring: Stagnant unemployment rate a positive in Alabama
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Karris Harmon
For the past five months, Alabama’s unemployment rate has been holding steady at 3.1%. That’s great news, said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington.
“In fact, for 13 months in a row, Alabama’s unemployment rate has been the lowest of any of our Southeastern states, so that’s something to be excited about,” Washington said.
After the COVID-19 pandemic wound up in Alabama in March 2020, a rash of temporary to permanent business closures wreaked havoc on employees throughout the state — workers were laid off, forced to work fewer shifts or did the jobs of multiple people.
But Washington said that even with the aggressive omicron variant, labor leaders remain optimistic.
“We are just so encouraged with where we are right now,” Washington said. “Pre-pandemic we were at an all-time state low of 2.6%, so you can see that we’re only a percent away from where we were pre-pandemic.”
Multiple rural counties are facing higher unemployment rates, including Wilcox, Lowndes, Clark and Hale counties. But there are plenty of opportunities out there, Washington said.
“What we have to do is raise awareness for those who are struggling to get back in the workforce,” he said. “If you are looking for work or if you’re under-employed and looking to upgrade to a better job, I strongly suggest you reach out to one of our career centers and we can not only find you a job, but we can connect you with an outstanding long-term career.”
You can find more information about careers in Alabama at labor.alabama.gov.