Chilton unemployment rate falls in May 

Published 11:45 am Monday, June 24, 2024

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

The Alabama Department of Labor released its unemployment numbers for the month of May on June 21, and Chilton County’s rate decreased to 2.1%. The rate fell from 2.3% in April, but it is higher than the May 2023 rate of 1.8%. Those rates represent 433 unemployed persons in May, 479 in April and 367 in May 2023.

However, while the unemployment rate this year in May was higher than last May, the number of employed persons in Chilton County increased from 19,665 last May to 19,905 this May. The civilian labor force also increased in the county this May despite the higher unemployment rate from 20,032 in May 2023 to 20,338 this May.

Shelby and Morgan Counties have the lowest unemployment rates in Alabama at 1.8% and 1.9%, respectively. Chilton County sits right outside the next lowest group at 2.0% that consists of Cullman, Elmore, Limestone, Madison and Marshall Counties. Wilcox County has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 6.8%, followed by Perry County at 4.5% and Dallas County at 4.4%.

“This job growth is indicative of positive trends in our economy,” Fitzgerald Washington, Alabama Department of Labor Secretary, said. “As we continue to set higher and higher record jobs count numbers, we’re also seeing wage growth in many sectors, with some hitting new record highs.”

The State of Alabama’s labor force participation rate for May remained steady at 57.5%, and the state continued to set new record highs in major categories. The number of people counted as employed in Alabama increased by 19,648 over the year to 2,266,164, which is still a record high. The civilian labor force also increased to 2,336,843 with 37,986 more people joining this year, and that is still a record high as well.

Wage and salary employment increased by 49,200 persons to a record high of 2,208,400. Gains were seen in the private education and health sector by 11,500 people, the government sector by 9,200 people and the manufacturing sector by 8,600 people.

“Our over the year growth in prime age workers participating in the labor force continues to be encouraging,” said Washington. “We’re also seeing record high numbers in our civilian labor force and the number of people who are working.  In May, nearly 38,000 more people decided to enter into the job market than at the same time last year.”

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 3.0%, which is down from April’s rate of 3.1%, but the May rate is higher than May 2023’s rate of 2.3%. The unemployment rate represents 70,679 unemployed persons in May, 72,045 in April and 52,341 in May 2023. The state’s preliminary, non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 2.4%.