Alabama breaks employment record for fourth consecutive month

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More than 2.1 million people were working in Alabama in August, which breaks the previous employment record for the fourth consecutive month.

That’s according to a Friday-announcement made by Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington.

“For four months in a row now, we’ve been breaking employment records,” Washington said. “Thirty-two thousand more Alabamians are working now than last year. We’ve also seen our labor force grow by 37,000, meaning more people have confidence in the economy and their ability to find a job – and the majority of those have found work, which is great news.”

2,112,274 Alabamians were counted as employed in August 2018, up from 2,105,577 in July, and up 32,101 from August 2017’s count of 2,080,173.

The civilian labor force, which is composed of people who are working or looking for work, increased over the year by 36,929, up to 2,203,485, compared to August 2017’s count of 2,166,556.

“Our jobs count continues to remain well above two million. The sectors that are experiencing the most yearly growth are sectors with traditionally high wages, like professional and business services, manufacturing, and construction,” Washington continued. “In fact, professional and business services employment, which includes high paying occupations like Financial Managers, Software Developers, and Engineers, is at a record high.”
Professional and Business Services employment currently measures 252,100, the highest level ever experienced.

Average hourly wages for selected occupations in this sector include:

  • General and Operations Managers at $59.46/hr.
  • Software Developers, Applications at $45.36/hr.
  • Database Administrators at $40.64/hr.

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted August unemployment rate is 4.1 percent, unchanged from July’s rate, and slightly above August 2017’s rate of 4.0 percent. August’s rate represents 91,211 unemployed persons, compared to 90,928 in July and 86,383 in August 2017.

In August, 64 of 67 counties saw their unemployment rates decrease or remain unchanged, 25 of 26 major cities, and all metros saw either a decrease or no change in their rates from July to August.

Unemployment by county_August 2018

Unemployment by county, August 2018 [Photo Credit: Alabama Dept. of Labor]

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are:

  • Shelby County at 3.1 percent
  • Cullman County at 3.4 percent
  • Marshall County at 3.5 percent

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are:

  • Wilcox County at 10.0 percent
  • Clarke County at 8.1 percent
  • Lowndes County at 7.9 percent

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are:

  • Vestavia Hills at 2.8 percent
  • Homewood, Hoover, and Alabaster at 3.0 percent
  • Madison at 3.2 percent

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are:

  • Selma at 8.2 percent
  • Prichard at 7.3 percent
  • Bessemer at 5.5 percent
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