By WILL WHATLEY, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent for September and the state set a new record for the number of people working in salary and wage jobs.
Governor Kay Ivey announced the record employment and job records, noting it is the fifth consecutive month of record jobs growth.
“Not only are we experiencing record high employment, this month we’ve also broken another record – our economy is currently supporting the most number of jobs in history.” Ivey said.
“September’s job count of 2,048,000 bypasses the previous record of 2,045,800, which was set in December 2007.”
Alabama had a year-over-year job growth of 1.3 percent, the largest percentage increase in 2018.
“In January, economists predicted that Alabama would see job growth of 27,000 in 2018. I’m pleased to say that, year-to-date, we’ve already seen job growth of 47,000, surpassing that prediction by 20,000 jobs, and we still have three months left to grow,” Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington said.
Wage and salary employment increased in September by 9,100. Monthly gains were seen in the government sector (+6,000), the education and health services sector (+4,000), and the professional and business services sector (+2,100), among others.
Over the year, wage and salary employment increased by 26,800, with gains in the professional and business services sector (+11,500), the manufacturing sector (+8,200), and the construction sector (+2,800), among others.
Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally-adjusted September unemployment rate is 4.1%. September’s rate represents 2,117,027 people working, which is also a record high. In August, 2,112,099 people were counted as employed, and 2,082,085 were counted as employed in September 2017.
“This is the fifth month in a row that we’ve announced that more people are working in Alabama than ever before. Alabama’s businesses are hiring, Alabamians are working, and wages are rising,” Governor Ivey said.
Average weekly earnings increased over the year by $53.82. Manufacturing weekly earnings increased by $27.18 over the year, and construction weekly earnings were up $55.08 over the year.
The rate represents 90,830 unemployed persons, compared to 91,183 in August and 83,667 in September 2017.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County (2.8%); Cullman County (3.1%); and, Marshall and Elmore counties (3.3%). Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County (9.3%,); Clarke County (7.3%); and, Lowndes County (7.2%).
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills (2.5%); Homewood (2.6%); and, Alabaster (2.7%). Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma (7.7%); Prichard (7.2%); and Bessemer and Anniston (5.2%).