A survey found that workers in Alabama's largest metro area have earned more during the past three years, despite the poor national economy.
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics surveyed 90 companies employing 204,400 people in the Birmingham area and found:
In March, workers in the metro area averaged $16.16 per hour -- a gain of 15-percent from three years earlier when the U.S. economic slow down began.
White-collar workers averaged straight-time pay of $19.49 per hour in March. That's up nearly 13-percent from February 2000. White-collar workers accounted for 52-percent of the area's employment rolls in March.
Workers in service occupations, mostly retail shops, earned an average of $10.37 per hour in March, a gain of 18-percent from February 2000.
Blue-collar workers earned an average $14.22 per hour in March, up 18-percent from three years ago.
Rural areas of the state are worse off. Alabama's jobless rate remained unchanged in June at 5.7-percent, but some of the 16 counties, Washington, Wilcox and Lowndes already suffering double-digit unemployment showed no improvement.