Alabama jobless rate dips to record 3%

Alabama jobless rate dips to record 3%

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s unemployment rate has fallen to a record 3%.

An announcement released Friday by the Department of Labor says the state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate for September was one-tenth of a percent below the previous low set in August.

It was also a half-percent lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 3.5% in September.

Gov. Kay Ivey celebrated the news in a statement and on social media Friday, but said the state would continue working to attract jobs.

“While we continue to be proud and amazed at these wonderful numbers, we cannot become complacent and forget our commitment to Alabama – to make sure that everyone who wants a job can have one. We’re working hard to make that a reality, and we will keep pushing for even more economic opportunities for hardworking Alabamians,” Ivey said.

Alabama’s economy has gained 55,900 jobs since January, according to the Department.

“The job growth that Alabama is experiencing in 2019 is outstanding,” Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said Friday. “Since January, our economy has grown 55,900 jobs – more than double what economists predicted our job growth for the year would be – and we still have three months to account for! We’re outpacing the nation in over-the-year job growth as well, reaching our largest job growth percentage of the year at 2.3%.”

The state unemployment number represents about 67,000 unemployed people compared to 2.2 million with jobs. Average private earnings increased by nearly $12 over the month to $862.

Shelby County in metro Birmingham has the state’s lowest jobless rate at 1.9%, which Wilcox County in rural west Alabama is highest at 6.2%.