Jobless rate drops for county, local cities

Shelby County’s unemployment rate of 3.5 percent for July was down from June and July 2016.

The 3.5-percent unemployment rate represents 3,794 unemployed people out of a civilian labor force of 109,313.

The county’s rate was 3.8 percent in June and 4.4 percent in July 2016.

Shelby County again had the state’s lowest unemployment rate, followed by Cullman and Baldwin counties at 4 percent, and Marshall and Elmore counties at 4.1 percent.

Counties with the highest rates were Wilcox at 13.5 percent, Perry at 10.8 percent and Clarke at 10.2 percent.

The unemployment rates for counties bordering Shelby include Jefferson at 4.6 percent, St. Clair at 4.3 percent, Talladega at 5.5 percent, Coosa at 5.5 percent, Chilton at 4.4 percent and Bibb at 5 percent.

Hoover was tied with Homewood for the second-lowest jobless rate among major cities, while Alabaster had the fourth lowest rate.

Hoover’s July rate of 3.3 percent was better than the June rate of 3.6 percent and the July 2016 rate of 4.2 percent.

Alabaster’s July rate of 3.4 percent was lower than the June rate of 3.9 percent and the July 2016 rate of 4.5 percent.

Alabama’s seasonally adjusted, preliminary unemployment rate for July was 4.5 percent, down from June’s rate of 4.6 percent and July 2016’s rate of 5.8 percent.

July’s rate represents 96,251 unemployed persons, compared to 100,187 in June and 126,182 in July 2016.

“This month, there are fewer people unemployed than there have been in nearly 10 years,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a press release. “This is most welcome news. But even as our unemployment rate continues to decline, we must maintain our work to bring quality, high-paying, high-demand jobs to the state of Alabama. This is a goal I’m committed to, and I intend to continue doing just that.”

The number of people counted as unemployed is down 29,931 from July 2016. The last time this measurement was at or below July’s level was in November 2007, when it measured 95,445.

“In addition to this being the lowest unemployment rate Alabama has seen since January 2008, we also continue to see yearly growth in many of Alabama’s industries, including manufacturing and construction,” Alabama Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington said. “Upticks in manufacturing and construction jobs are indicative of positive economic growth.”