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Unemployment numbers still breaking records

By WILL WHATLEY, Alabama Daily News

The state’s unemployment statistics continue to reach record levels, Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said Friday.

“More people are working now than ever before in Alabama’s history,” Washington said. “Employers are continuing to post jobs, companies are moving operations and our existing businesses are expanding, all of which is great news for Alabamians.”

The state’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2019 sat at 3.7%, the same as it was the previous month but down from 4.0% in March 2018. However, the state has never seen as many people working as the 2.13 million counted as employed in March, up from 2.12 million in February and up 28,953 from March 2018’s count of 2.10 million.

“The record-breaking unemployment news our state continues to receive is a direct reflection of the men and women in Alabama’s workforce,”Gov. Kay Ivey said in a prepared statement. “Our existing companies are thriving. Other companies want to locate to Alabama, and this is all good news for the people our state.”

Not only are more Alabamians working than ever before, more are attaining high-wage jobs as both building construction employment and aerospace parts and manufacturing were up more than 10% over the year.

Business Council of Alabama President and CEO Katie Boyd Britt credits the Ivey administration, legislative members and chambers leaders across the state for working together and building a conducive environment for businesses to flourish.

“In addition to growth on our ‘Main Streets’ throughout Alabama, automakers, aerospace and aviation industries, big tech companies and innovative startups continue to expand and locate here,” Britt added. “These March unemployment numbers underscore what so many of us already know: Alabama is a great place to do business and raise a family.”

While more people are working than ever before, many companies are still looking to hire. As of April 19, more than 19,900 job orders were posted to JobLink, the state’s free online job posting board managed by the Alabama Department of Labor.

According to the statistics, counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County (2.8%), Marshall County (3.2%) and Elmore, Madison and Morgan counties (3.3%). Those with the highest unemployment rates are Clarke County (6.5%), Lowndes County (6.7%) and Wilcox County (8.4%).

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