Alabama’s jobless rate holds steady at record 3.5 percent low

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Governor Kay Ivey announced on Friday that 2,093,063 people were counted as employed in December, the most ever recorded.

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted December unemployment rate is 3.5%, maintaining last month’s record rate.

“We are ending 2017 with great news on the employment front,” Ivey said. “Not only have we reached a record low unemployment rate, but now we can add another record to our list – more people are working in Alabama than ever before! We’ve been busy recruiting new business to our state, like our recent announcement of Toyota-Mazda’s decision to locate in North Alabama, bringing 4,000 jobs and more than 300 jobs in Troy due to Kimber’s recent announcement.”

The new figures also indicate the Yellowhammer State is ahead of the national employment average as the U.S. jobless rate is holding at 4.1 percent, a 17 year-low due in part to President Donald Trump‘s policy initiatives.

Fitzgerald Washington, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor, said Alabama surpassed economists predictions for 2017.

“In early 2017, economists predicted that Alabama’s economy would gain 18,700 jobs over the year,” said Washington.  “I’m happy to say that we surpassed that prediction by more than 13,000 jobs, gaining a total of 32,500 jobs. Employers are hiring in Alabama, and we stand ready to provide whatever assistance is needed to make sure that they are able to fill their open positions.”

Alabama unemployment rates Dec 2017Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 32,500, with gains in the leisure and hospitality sector (+8,700), the construction sector (+6,100), and the manufacturing sector (+5,800), among others.

“Over the year, all 67 showed significant decreases in their unemployment rates,” continued Washington.  “Wilcox County is leading with a 6.2 percentage point drop from the same time last year.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are:

  • Shelby County: 2.5%,
  • Cullman County: 2.8%
  • Marshall, Madison, and Lee Counties: 2.9%

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are:

  • Wilcox County: 9.5%
  • Clarke County: 6.7%
  • Lowndes County: 6.5%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are:

  • Vestavia Hills: 2.1%
  • Homewood: 2.3%
  • Alabaster and Hoover: 2.4%

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are:

  • Selma: 6.3%
  • Prichard: 6.2%
  • Anniston: 5.0%
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