MONTGOMERY – Gov. Kay Ivey’s office released the state’s April 2018 unemployment numbers Friday morning. According to the state, Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted April unemployment rate is 3.8 percent, unchanged from March’s rate of 3.8 percent, and well below April 2017’s rate of 4.8 percent. Cullman County’s rate fell to 2.8 percent for April, down from March’s rate of 3.2 percent and April 2017’s rate of 3.5 percent. Cullman County’s unemployment rate is the second lowest in Alabama.
Statewide, 2,086,659 people were counted as employed in April, an increase of 19,877 from last year. April’s rate represents 83,208 unemployed persons, compared to 81,166 in March and 104,027 in April 2017.
Additionally, according to the governor’s office, average weekly earnings increased $41.92 over the year. Wages in the construction, manufacturing, trade, transportation, utilities, financial activities, professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality sectors all increased over the year.
“All 67 Alabama counties experienced rate drops both over the month and over the year,” said Alabama Department of Labor Sec. Fitzgerald Washington. “Wilcox County, which traditionally has the highest unemployment rate in Alabama, saw its rate drop by 2.2 percentage points over the year.”
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 2.6 percent, Cullman County at 2.8 percent, and Marshall, Madison, and Elmore Counties at 3.0 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 8.6 percent, Clarke and Lowndes Counties at 6.6 percent, and Greene County at 6.0 percent.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Homewood and Vestavia Hills at 2.2 percent, Alabaster at 2.5 percent, and Hoover, Madison, and Northport at 2.6 percent. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Prichard at 6.1 percent, Selma at 6.0 percent, and Anniston at 5.2 percent.
The governor’s office also announced on Friday that Alabama’s wage and salary employment measured 2,039,200 in March, the highest since December 2007.
Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 24,600, with gains in the professional and business services sector (+7,700), the leisure and hospitality sector (+4,700), and the construction sector (+3,400), among others.
Wage and salary employment increased in April by 13,900. Monthly gains were seen in the professional and business services sector (+6,000), the leisure and hospitality sector (+4,900), and the construction sector (+2,300), among others.
“The good news just keeps coming in Alabama,” Ivey said. “Our workforce is growing, more people are working, and businesses are moving to our great state. We are proud of how much we’ve improved and are working hard to build on that momentum.”
Alabama’s civilian labor force (CLF) increased 6,970 over the month, reaching its highest level so far in 2018.
“Alabama businesses are supporting more jobs than they have in more than a decade,” Ivey continued. “In fact, we’ve got the third highest wage and salary employment in history. This tells us that businesses in Alabama are hiring, and they’re confident in our economy.”
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