HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Businesses are booming, with employees that is, in the Huntsville and Decatur Metro Areas. Governor Ivey announced three Alabama metro areas have the lowest unemployment rates in the nation.

The rankings, compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, list the North Alabama Metros at a 1.6% unemployment rate. These rates account for March of 2023 and tied with Rapid City, South Dakota for the lowest unemployment rate in the nation.

The Huntsville Metro includes Madison and Limestone Counties, while the Decatur Metro includes Morgan and Lawrence Counties.

The Alabama Department of Labor paid tribute to the strength of the state economy post-pandemic to achieve this goal and said it’s an indication that businesses, big and small are recognizing that people in the Decatur, Huntsville Metro areas are here and ready to work.

“Businesses like to go to areas with low unemployment, said DOL spokesperson Tara Hutchinson. “Obviously these are good numbers, and we want to stay on top of those. We’re hoping that this trend that we’ve been having basically for the past 18 months…that Alabama continues to stay ahead of the game and this is going to help us attract new businesses and new jobs to the state and our local area.”

Farther south, the Birmingham – Hoover Metro area was ranked the lowest nationwide in unemployment rates at 1.8%. Their ranking was categorized by metro areas with a population of one million or more.

Governor Kay Ivey said that she wasn’t surprised at the national recognition due to Alabamians finding jobs in “record numbers” for several months. Ivey recently announced Alabama’s state unemployment rate in March also set a new record low at 2.3%.

Data shows major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 5.3%, Prichard at 3.9%, and Bessemer and Gadsden at 2.9%.