State jobless rate matches record low

Published 9:24 pm Saturday, October 21, 2017

Dallas County registered its lowest unemployment rate of the year for the month of September, and the state rate matched a record low.

The unemployment rate for Dallas County fell from 7.8 percent in August to 6.3 percent in September marking a 1.5 percent decrease.

The state rate decreased from 4.2 percent In August to 3.8 percent, which is the lowest in recorded history for Alabama. September’s rate matches an all-time low of April 2007, which was also 3.8 percent.

“We’ve been working extremely hard over the past six months to bring Alabama’s unemployment rate down, and today’s news shows that our efforts are paying off,” Governor Kay Ivey said Thursday. “This is truly an historic day, as we announce that Alabama’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has ever been.”

Last year for the month of September, the state recorded a 6 percent unemployment rate, and Dallas County registered a 9.9 percent rate. The city of Selma’s rate is also the lowest it has been all year at 7 percent.
Gov. Ivey credited the record low to job creation throughout the state.

“When it comes to job creation, we are doing the right thing and momentum is on our side in Alabama,” she said. “But, we won’t let up and we will continue recruiting new businesses and encouraging existing firms to expand. We can’t and won’t slow down just because we’ve reached this milestone.”

September’s state rate represents 82,678 unemployed, and Dallas County’s represents 950. Last year at this time, there were 131,201 unemployed across the state.

“Nearly 23,000 more people are working now than last year and the number of unemployed is down by almost 50,000,” said Alabama Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “Those numbers represent real workers with real families and indicate real progress in our economy.”

According to Washington, every county experienced a decrease in its unemployment rate during September, which helped match the record low.

“All 67 counties experienced drops in their unemployment rates, both over the year and over the month, and for the first time in a decade, no county has a rate in the double digits,” Washington said.

Counties with the lowest rates are Shelby at 2.4 percent, Marshall and Cullman at 2.8 percent and Madison, Lee and Elmore at 2.9 percent.

The counties with the highest rates for September are Wilcox at 8.9 percent, Clarke at 6.7 percent and Dallas at 6.3 percent. Selma has the highest rate for major cities in the state at 7 percent.