The Alabama job market and economy were relatively protected during the recession and are rebuilding slowly to prerecession levels. The Yellowhammer State relies on military operations, which are currently slowing; retail; and auto manufacturing, an industry that once hurt the economy but is now helping to turn it around. Auburn is considered a dynamic pocket in an otherwise slowly recovering state, while other areas are still stabilizing. Alabama, which is still rebuilding following Hurricane Katrina and several destructive tornadoes, is expecting future growth for its 2.1 million workers.
Alabama Job Opportunities
Alabama is known for its military and aerospace history and its current reliance on the military and manufacturing. Leading employers in the state include the US Army's Redstone Arsenal facility, Maxwell Air Force Base, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Mobile County school system.
The government and trade, transportation and utilities sectors dominate employment in Alabama. Most industries have reported solid growth, while the government, construction and information sectors have been declining.
Alabama Employment Trends
Alabama's job metrics reflect the state's mixed economic recovery. Alabama's unemployment rate, which peaked at 10.6 percent at the end of 2009, was below 8 percent by the start of 2012. With the exception of a slight increase in late 2010 and early 2011, Alabama payrolls have been mostly in decline for the past four years. The volume of online job postings has been steadily expanding and is close to prerecession levels.
Moody's Analytics forecasts Alabama jobs to increase 1.8 percent between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013, higher than 1.3 percent growth expected in the nation's job supply during that time.