MONTGOMERY – Gov. Kay Ivey’s office released the state’s latest unemployment numbers Friday morning. Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted September unemployment rate is 4.1 percent. Cullman County’s rate, still the second lowest in the state, is 3.1 percent, down from 3.4 percent last month and the same as its September 2017 rate.
According to Ivey’s office, Alabama has again broken employment and job records. In September, wage and salary employment reached a record high, and the number of people counted as working was also a record high, for the fifth month in a row. September’s statewide rate represents 2,117,027 people working. In August, 2,112,099 people were counted as employed, and 2,082,085 were counted as employed in September 2017. The rate represents 90,830 unemployed persons, compared to 91,183 in August and 83,667 in September 2017.
“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,” Alabama Sec. 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.
“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,” 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.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 2.8 percent, Cullman County at 3.1 percent, and Marshall and Elmore Counties at 3.3 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 9.3 percent, Clarke County at 7.3 percent, and Lowndes County at 7.2 percent.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills at 2.5 percent, Homewood at 2.6 percent, and Alabaster at 2.7 percent. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 7.7 percent, Prichard at 7.2 percent, and Bessemer and Anniston at 5.2 percent.