Alabama jobless rate dips to 3.9 percent

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s unemployment rate is down slightly.

The state Department of Labor says December’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted jobless rate is 3.9 percent. That’s a decrease from the November rate of 4 percent but slightly above the rate from a year before of 3.8 percent.

The state says Alabama experienced job growth of 2.2 percent during 2018, the largest-ever increase over a year.

The number represents an increase of 44,300 jobs statewide, with the largest number of new positions coming in the professional and business services sector.

Shelby County in metro Birmingham has the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.5 percent, followed by Cullman County at 2.9 percent.

Wilcox County in rural west Alabama was the highest jobless rate at 8.7 percent, followed by Clarke County at 7.1 percent.