Alabama maintains record 2.7% unemployment

Alabama maintains record 2.7% unemployment

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

Alabama’s record-low seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stayed at 2.7% from November to December, state officials announced this morning.

That rate is down from 3.8% in December 2018.

“I’m so proud to be able to close out this decade with record-breaking economic measures,” said Gov. Kay Ivey said in a written release today. “All year long, we’ve had good news to share, and to be able to end the year, and the decade, on such a positive note is wonderful.  

“Earlier (in 2019), Alabama had never reported an unemployment rate lower than 3%, and now we’ve had one for the last three months.”

The December rate represents 2,204,740 employed people, a new record high, and an increase of 83,971 from December 2018. According to the press release from the Alabama Department of Labor, 61,458 people were counted as unemployed, also a new record.

“For the eleventh month in a row, our job growth has met or surpassed the nation’s,” Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said. “We’ve gained over 46,000 jobs since last December, and we continue to see employers posting job ads.”

Alabama’s job growth rate for December was 2.2%.  It surpasses the national job growth rate of 1.4%. The average weekly wage for private businesses reached $875.44 in December, representing a monthly increase of $15.14.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Shelby, 1.8%; and Marshall, Madison and Cullman counties at 2.1%.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox County, 6.8%, Clarke County, 5.5%, and Greene and Lowndes counties at 4.8%. The unemployment rate increased slightly from November in those counties.