Employment in Alabama nears pre-recession levels

Published 1:25 am Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted November unemployment rate was 6.0 percent, and less than 25,000 jobs shy of pre-recession employment rates.

“We are coming closer and closer to hitting that golden wage and salary employment number of two million jobs,” Gov. Robert Bentley said. “We haven’t seen wage and salary employment at two million since June 2008, prior to the recession’s effects in our state. Our economy is strong, and my goal is that every Alabamian who wants a job can obtain one.”

“The very slight uptick in November’s unemployment rate is due to the fact that more people entered the workforce, perhaps looking for seasonal employment,” Alabama Labor Department Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said. “Additionally, more people are employed both over the month and over the year, so this small increase is not necessarily bad news.”

In Covington County, the November jobless rate was 6.3 percent, compared to 6.7 percent in November of 2014. The numbers represent 957 workers in 2015 vs. 1,042 people out of work in 2014, according to ADOL statistics.

The Civilian Labor Force (CLF) increased in November to 2,146,294 from 2,141,221in October and from 2,130,131 in November 2014 (seasonally adjusted). CLF employment also increased to 2,018,189 from 2,014,056 in October and from 1,999,222 in November 2014.

Wage and salary employment increased in November by 12,800 to 1,975,700. Monthly gains were seen in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+9,100), the education and health services sector (+2,800), and the government sector (+1,800), among others.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 24,900, with gains in the leisure and hospitality sector (+6,400), the education and health services sector (+5,900), the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+4,800), and the construction sector (+4,700), among others.

“The fact that the construction sector continues to show improvement over the year is another good sign for Alabama’s economy,” Washington added. “Construction employment hasn’t been this healthy since 2010. If construction is occurring, then confidence in the economy is generally optimistic.”