Fitzgerald Washington, Secretary of Alabama Department of Labor, Discusses Economy Projections for 2023

In 2022, Alabama’s economy experienced consistent growth, as evidenced by frequent positive economic reports released by the Alabama Department of Labor. This progress was achieved through the state’s world-class workforce and a sustained effort to attract and retain employers. Congratulations were offered to state leaders, agencies, officials, and workers for their contributions to Alabama’s economic accomplishments. Governor Ivey’s administration remains committed to promoting continued improvement and economic growth.

A notable milestone for 2022 was Alabama breaking all six of its major economic records. Even amidst the economic uncertainty that followed the COVID-19 pandemic, the state saw a record number of individuals enter the workforce, with 97.5% of them employed. This resulted in a record low unemployment rate of 2.5%, the lowest in the Southeast and the seventh lowest nationally. For the duration of 2022, employers in Alabama supported record job numbers, surpassing pre-pandemic highs. The state saw an increase of 81,100 jobs from January through December 2022, supported by record high wages.

Multiple industries benefited from the surge in jobs and wages, with construction, trade, transportation, public works, leisure and hospitality, and other services experiencing significant gains. While the leisure and hospitality industry, which had been significantly impacted by the pandemic, continued its historic boom and saw a $56 increase in weekly wages. Employers in Alabama also enjoyed a 54% tax cut due to the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund transitioning to its lowest tax schedule in 2022, Schedule A.

Alabama’s Career Centers, which are now located in all 67 counties in the state, provided a vital service, assisting over 90,000 new job seekers and recording nearly 250,000 customer visits in 2022. 71% of those helped to find a job remained employed one year later. The Career Centers offer a range of free services to job seekers and employers alike, including recruitment assistance and salary subsidies for new hires. Services such as tuition assistance, on-the-job training, and apprenticeship programs were also available to job seekers.

Alabama’s recovery and sustained growth are promising for the state’s future. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Alabama’s dedicated, hard-working, resilient, and innovative workforce worked to make the state a better place to live and work.

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