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Alabama’s April Unemployment Rate Falls to 6.1%

MONTGOMERY – Governor Robert Bentley on Friday announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted April unemployment rate is 6.1%, down from March’s rate of 6.2%.

“Every aspect of this month’s jobs data reflects positively on Alabama’s economy,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “More people are working and more jobs are filled. In fact, we are supporting almost 100,000 more jobs now than we were at the height of the recession.  We are continuously working to keep that momentum going, with events like last week’s huge job fair in Birmingham that drew more than 5,000 job seekers.”

Wage and salary employment measured 1,971,300 in April 2016.  In comparison, when the Governor took office in January 2011, the wage and salary employment measured 1,839,400.

“This is a promising month for us,” Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said.  “There are more people looking for work and more people working this month than there have been all year.  The number of people who are unemployed is down.  We continue to see growth in our wage and salary employment, surpassing economists’ growth expectations by nearly 8,000 jobs only four months into the year.”

Wage and salary employment increased in April by 16,500.  Monthly gains were seen in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+3,600), the professional and business services sector (+3,500), and the leisure and hospitality sector (+2,100), among others.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 25,400, with gains in the professional and business services sector (+7,400), the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+5,900), and the education and health services sector (+5,200), among others.

All major Alabama cities, metro areas, and 67 Alabama counties experienced drops in the unemployment rate.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4.0%, Elmore County at 4.5%, and Cherokee County at 4.6%.  Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills at 3.4%, Homewood at 3.7%, and Hoover at 3.9%.

Unemployment Rate by County, April 2016

April 2016 Map


“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.

The Office of Alabama Governor
Robert Bentley

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