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Unemployment very low in Birmingham, but it’s a catch-22

Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 10:31 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham has the lowest jobless rate in the country for metros over 1 million people. But it’s a catch-22 because even though our unemployment is so low, there are businesses that really need employees.

The Department of Labor and Statistics ranks the Birmingham Hoover metro at the top of the list with just a 2.6 unemployment rate, which is well below the state average of 3.4 percent. Birmingham Business Journal Editor Ty West has been keeping a close eye on the numbers, and says while low unemployment is good, there are still “now hiring” signs on a lot of businesses ranging from hospitality to even tech companies in Birmingham. West says there is a lack of talent and while there are programs out there to recruit that talent, there is still a void to fill.

“We have customers going back to these businesses in droves and you have companies who don’t have the talent to fill the need, to serve these people, so you have these businesses in many cases who have struggled over this past year, they’re trying to recover,” explained Ty West at the Birmingham Business Journal.

He says companies are adjusting pay and benefits to attract talent.

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