State unemployment rate sets record low

Published 4:57 pm Monday, November 20, 2017

The state of Alabama has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, as the unemployment rate continues to drop to record lows.

The Governor’s Office released the state’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October, which was the lowest in history at 3.6 percent.

It marked the second straight month that the rate hit record status, breaking the short-lived record low of 3.8 percent for September.

What a difference a year makes, as the unemployment rate has taken a significant drop from 6.1 percent in October 2016.

“We had great news last month when we announced that Alabama’s unemployment rate had tied its lowest ever,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a press release. “Today, our news is even bigger. What we are doing is working, and as a result, the people of Alabama are working.”

The current record low level is a result of the unemployment rate continuing to gradually drop over the past several months.

“As we continue to see our unemployment rate drop, Alabama’s businesses continue to hire and support real jobs in our economy,” said Fitzgerald Washington, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor. “Our wage and salary employment figures are currently at the third highest level since we began keeping records. There are nearly 30,000 more jobs today than there were in October of last year. Through job fairs and the services provided at our Career Centers located throughout the state, we are helping employers find the employees they are looking for.”

However, although the number is low, it still tracks the percentage of people who are currently without a job something that Ivey was quick to point out.

“Additionally, today’s numbers show that we currently have the fewest number of unemployed people in history, measuring some 77,000; but that means 77,000 Alabamians are still without work,” Ivey said. “I will persist in my efforts to put every Alabamian who wants to work in a good paying job by recruiting high-wage, high-skill industries to Alabama.”

Despite a drop in the state’s adjusted unemployment rate, Chilton County’s rose slightly over a month from 3 percent in September to 3.2 percent in October.

The county’s rates are equivalent to 581 unemployed residents from its civilian labor force in September, compared to 608 residents in October.

In relation, Shelby County had the lowest unemployment rate in October at 2.6 percent, while Wilcox County had the highest at 8.9 percent.