3 Ways The Labor Force in Alabama Has Changed

Labor Force Graphic

More Alabamians are becoming Educated

In 2017, there were 71,958 graduates in Alabama. This pipeline has grown by 6% over the last 5 years. Whether through technical programs, certificates, associate’s or bachelor’s degrees — more and more Alabamians are earning more than a high-school diploma.

The rising number of graduates is great, but at the same time skill and education requirements for jobs keep rising as well. The overall educational and training requirements of high demand, fast-growing, and high-earning occupations demonstrate the importance of education in developing tomorrow’s workforce. In the future, more jobs will require postsecondary education and training at a minimum.

Women in the Workforce are on the Rise

Albeit slowly. Men still make up a majority of the workforce in Alabama (approximately 50.5%), but women are continuing to join in at a steady pace (49.5%). Women still hold majority in ‘traditional’ female roles, but there has been an expanding interest in recruiting women to more typically male-dominated fields. There has been a rise in events like Power UP, hosted annually in the Central Six region in partnership with AIDT and the Alabama Workforce Training Center (AWTC), which seeks to get young women into careers in the construction industry. Over the next three to five years, as new generations enter and older generations exit, women are expected to join the workforce at an even greater rate and eventually hold the majority position.

Alabamians are learning new skills

Jobs grew by 105,822 over the last five years and are projected to grow by another 84,822 over the next five years. By sector, the top five employers in the state are manufacturing, health care and social assistance, retail trade, hospitality/tourism services, and educational services. These five industries provided 1,077,310 jobs or 58.9 percent of the state total, in the first quarter of 2016.

New industries are booming in Alabama, which in turn is calling for new sets of skills. This can exacerbate the existing skills gap within the state, but Alabamians are working hard to close it. Many are turning to apprenticeships or short term certificate programs in order to secure jobs within the Chemical Manufacturing, Information Technology, Manufacturing and Customer Service (like the new Shipt Headquarters in Birmingham) areas in the state.

Data collected via EMSI; LMI