MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s unemployment rate dropped to an all-time low of 2.8% last month, the state said Friday, down slightly from a month earlier and well below the national rate.
The preliminary, seasonally adjusted rate was 0.1% better than in March, and it compared favorably to the U.S. jobless rate of 3.6% for April.
The rate for April represented 63,208 unemployed people statewide, and improvement of about 18,000 from a year earlier. About 2.2 million people were counted as employed, and weekly wages increased to a record $990.46, an increase of more than $21 in a year.
The largest job gains were in the leisure and hospitality sector, which gained 3.200 positions as the summer tourist and travel season approached. Manufacturing gained 2,000 jobs, and government added 1,500, according to a statement from the governor’s office and the Alabama Department of Labor.
Shelby County in metro Birmingham had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 1.4%, followed by Marshall County at 1.5% and six counties tied at 1.6%: Blount, Cullman, Elmore, Limestone, Madison and Morgan. Wilcox County in rural west Alabama was worst in the state at 7.7% unemployment.