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State unemployment hits record low – again

Alabama hit another record-low unemployment rate of 2.8% in October, down from 3% in September and 3.8% in October 2018.

“More than 80,000 Alabamians are working today than last year, and 20,000 fewer people are counted as unemployed,” Gov. Kay Ivey said this morning in a written statement. “Our economy is supporting over 2.1 million jobs, more than ever before.”

October’s rate represents 2,200,681 employed persons, a new record, compared to 2,194,109 in September and 2,120,546 in October 2018, according to the Alabama Department of Labor. Meanwhile, a record-low number of unemployed persons were counted: 63,333.

The number of people in the civilian labor force increased to 2,264,014, also a new record high, representing an over-the-year increase of 60,068.

“For the ninth month in a row, Alabama has met or surpassed national job growth,” Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said. “In October, manufacturing employment is at its highest level in more than a decade and record high employment was recorded in the professional and business services sector.”

He also said wages continue to increase, with total private average weekly earnings rising by $26.49 over the year, and construction wages reaching a new record high,. Total private average weekly earnings were $862.75 in October, up from $836.26 a year ago. 

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby, 1.8%; Marshall 2%; and Blount, Crenshaw, Cullman, Lee, Limestone, Madison, Morgan, and Tuscaloosa ,2.1%.  

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox, 6.3%; Greene County, 4.8%; and Clarke, 4.7%.

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