Dallas Co. unemployment numbers continue to fall

Published 5:37 pm Saturday, June 17, 2017

Unemployment data from the Alabama Department of Labor shows Dallas County’s unemployment numbers have continued to decline over the last five months.

Since January, the unemployment rate has fallen from 10.5 percent to 6.5 percent in May. Last year at this time, Dallas County had an unemployment rate of 8.6 percent, which is a 2.1 percent decrease.

Last month, Wayne Vardaman, executive director for the Selma and Dallas County Economic Development Authority, said April’s rate of 6.9 percent was the lowest rate since 2000. May’s rate comes in even lower.

The state’s unemployment rate, according to the Alabama Department of Labor, is 4.9 percent, which is the lowest rate since March 2008, when the rate came in at 4.8 percent.

“Over the past three months, our unemployment rate has fallen by an impressive 1.3 percentage points. May’s figures represent the lowest unemployment rate in more than nine years and more people working now than in the last 10 years,” said Gov. Kay Ivey.

“It is a team effort, and I sure am proud this rate decrease occurred during my first full month in office. We will continue to exhaust every effort end explore every opportunity until every Alabamian who wants a job, has a job.”

Unemployment data for May accounts for 107,364 unemployed people in the state compared to 119,113 in April. Data for Dallas County shows there were 1,020 unemployed people during the month of May. That number fell from 1,080 people in April. There were 1,335 people without jobs in May 2016. Statistics show the county’s civilian labor force to be 15,598 for May with 14,578 employed.

Of the 67 counties in Alabama, 61 of them have a rate of 6.5 percent or below. Dallas County is among those counties. The six with rates higher are Clarke. Greene, Lowndes, Perry Washington and Wilcox counties.

“Fifty thousand more people have jobs now than they did last year,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary, Fitzgerald Washington.

The city of Selma’s unemployment rate is 7.3 percent, which is 0.8 percent higher than the county rate. The city’s civilian labor force accounts for 6,577 people in May with 6,096 employed. That means during the month of May 481 people were without jobs. Last year at this time, the city had an unemployment rate of 9.6 percent.