ADOL: Employment, jobs count hit record high for 6th consecutive month; Cullman Co. unemployment rate remains 2nd lowest in state

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MONTGOMERY – Alabama’s statewide unemployment rate for October is unchanged from September’s. According to the Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL), the preliminary, seasonally adjusted October unemployment rate is 4.1 percent, unchanged from September’s rate, and above October 2017’s rate of 3.8 percent.  Cullman County’s October unemployment rate is 3.2 percent, up just slightly from last month’s rate of 3.1 percent and October 2017’s rate of 3.1 percent. Cullman County’s rate remains the second lowest in the state.

Employment, jobs count hit record high for 6th consecutive month; 40,000-plus more people working than a year ago

For the sixth month in a row, a record number of people are working in Alabama.  In October, the number of people counted as employed measured 2,122,970, which tops last month’s record-breaking number of 2,117,359, and is 40,377 more than October 2017’s count of 2,082,593.  The number of people counted as unemployed dropped as well, measuring 89,754, down from September’s count of 90,818.

“More than 40,000 Alabamians now have jobs that didn’t last year,” said Alabama Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington. “That means that they are contributing to our state’s economy and providing for their families.  Our labor force continues to grow, reaching its highest level of 2018, and the vast majority of those are finding jobs, which tells us that people have confidence in our economy.”

The civilian labor force (CLF) increased to 2,212,724 in October, its highest level of 2018, representing a year-over-year increase of 48,254.

“Additionally, we broke the record for the number of jobs our economy is supporting – AGAIN – beating the previous record by more than 12,000 jobs.  We’re beginning to see retail hiring pick up in preparation for the holidays, but over-the-year gains in high wage industries like manufacturing and construction are extremely encouraging, with yearly gains of 3.88 percent and 2.52 percent, respectively.”

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 34,500, with gains in the professional and business services sector (+12,500), the manufacturing sector (+10,200), and the construction sector (+2,200), among others.

Wage and salary employment increased in October by 12,200.  Monthly gains were seen in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+5,000), the professional and business services sector (+2,200), and the government sector (+2,200), among others. 

Average weekly private sector earnings were again up over-the-year, rising by $18.88 per week. Construction earnings reached their highest level in history, rising to $984.13 per week.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 2.8 percent, Cullman County at 3.2 percent and Marshall and Elmore Counties at 3.3 percent.  Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 8.8 percent, Clarke County at 7.1 percent and Lowndes County at 6.8 percent.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills and Homewood at 2.6 percent, Alabaster at 2.7 percent, and Madison and Northport at 2.8 percent.  Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 7.2 percent, Prichard at 6.8 percent and Anniston and Bessemer at 5.2 percent.

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