Shelby County, Alabaster boast state’s lowest jobless rates

In a month where Alabama’s unemployment rate reached a record low, Shelby County had the lowest rate in the state and Alabaster the lowest among major cities.

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted October unemployment rate was 3.6 percent, down from September’s previous record-tying rate of 3.8 percent, and well below October 2016’s rate of 6.1 percent.

“We had great news last month, when we announced that Alabama’s unemployment rate had tied its lowest ever,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a press release. “Today, our news is even bigger! Alabama’s unemployment rate has dropped even more, registering a new record low! What we are doing is working, and as a result, the people of Alabama are working.”

October’s rate represents 77,358 unemployed persons, the lowest number ever recorded, compared to 82,562 in September and 133,875 in October 2016. 2,079,576 people were counted as employed, compared to 2,069,094 in September and 2,046,861 in October 2016.

“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. There are nearly 30,000 more jobs today than there were in October of last year. Through job fairs and the services provided at our Career Centers located throughout the state, we are helping employers find the employees they are looking for.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were 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 were Wilcox County at 8.9 percent, Clarke County at 6.6 percent and Lowndes County at 6.4 percent.

Shelby County’s rate was 2.4 percent in September and 4.7 percent in October 2016.

Rates for counties surrounding Shelby were Jefferson at 3.4 percent, St. Clair at 3.2 percent, Talladega at 4 percent, Coosa at 3.6 percent, Chilton at 3.2 percent and Bibb at 3.4 percent.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates were Alabaster, Homewood and Vestavia Hills at 2.4 percent, Hoover at 2.6 percent and Madison at 2.7 percent.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates were Prichard and Selma at 6.5 percent, Anniston at 4.9 percent and Bessemer at 4.8 percent.

Alabaster’s rate was 2.3 percent in September and 4.5 percent in October 2016.

Hoover’s rate was 2.4 percent in September and 4.5 percent in October 2016.