Jobless rate continues to fall, sets record low

Published 6:38 pm Saturday, November 18, 2017

Dallas County’s unemployment rate continued to fall in October, helping the state set a new record low.

Dallas County registered a jobless rate of 5.8 percent, which is down from 6.3 percent in September and 7.8 percent in August. The state’s rate decreased from 3.8 percent in September, which matched an all-time low, to 3.6 percent.

“We had great news last month when we announced that Alabama’s unemployment rate had tied its lowest ever,” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “Today, our news is even bigger. Alabama’s unemployment rate has dropped even more, registering a new record low.”

In 2016, Dallas County had an unemployment rate of 9.4 percent. October 2017’s rate reflects a 3.6 percent decrease. Last year for the month of October, the state registered a 6.1 percent jobless rate. Dallas County’s unemployment rate represents 864 people without jobs in October 2017 compared to 1,484 in October 2016. According to statistics from the Alabama Department of Labor, there are 14,114 people with jobs in Dallas County. That number is slightly down from October 2016, which was 14,235.

Statistics show that there were 77.358 people in the state of Alabama that were unemployed in October 2017 compared to 133,875 in October 2016.

“Additionally, today’s numbers show that we currently have the fewest number of unemployed people in history, measuring some 77,000; but that means 77,000 Alabamians, men and women, are still without work,” Ivey said. “I will persist in my efforts to put every Alabamian who wants to work in a good paying job by recruiting high-wage, high-skill industries to Alabama.”

October’s numbers show there were 2,079,576 people with jobs, which is up from last year’s number of 2,046,861.

“As we continue to see our unemployment rate drop, Alabama’s businesses continue to hire and support real jobs in our economy,” said Fitzgerald Washington, secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor.

“Our wage and salary employment figures are currently at the third highest level since we began keeping records.”

Washington said there are nearly 30,000 more jobs today than there were in October of last year. He credited job fairs and career centers for helping people find jobs.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rate for October are Shelby County at 2.6 percent, Marshall, Madison, Lee and Cullman counties at 3 percent and Tuscaloosa and Elmore counties at 3.1 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates for October are Wilcox County at 8.9 percent, Clarke County at 6.6 percent and Lowndes County at 6.4 percent.
Selma is among the cities with the highest unemployment rate.

Cities with the highest unemployment rates are Prichard and Selma at 6.5 percent, Anniston at 4.9 percent and Bessemer at 4.8 percent. Alabaster, Homewood and Vestavia Hills has the lowest at 2.4.