Jobless rates dip slightly from August to September

The unemployment rate in Shelby County and local municipalities for September was lower than the August rate but above the September 2017 rate, according to data released by the Alabama Department of Labor.

Shelby County’s jobless rate was 2.8 percent in September, 3.1 percent in August and 2.6 percent in September 2017.

Shelby County again had the state’s lowest unemployment rate, followed by Cullman County at 3.1 percent and Marshall and Elmore counties at 3.3 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox County at 9.3 percent, Clarke County at 7.3 percent and Lowndes County at 7.2 percent.

Rates for counties bordering Shelby included Jefferson at 3.7 percent, St. Clair at 3.4 percent, Talladega at 3.9 percent, Coosa at 3.9 percent, Chilton at 3.4 percent and Bibb at 3.9 percent.

Two local municipalities, Alabaster and Hoover, experienced numbers similar to Shelby County.

Alabaster’s unemployment rate was 2.7 percent in September, 3 percent in August and 2.5 percent in September 2017.

Hoover’s rate was 2.8 percent in September, 3 percent in August and 2.6 percent in September 2017.

Only Vestavia Hills (2.5 percent) and Homewood (2.6 percent) had September jobless rates lower than Alabaster and Hoover.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates were Selma at 7.7 percent, Prichard at 7.2 percent, and Bessemer and Anniston at 5.2 percent.

Alabama’s seasonally-adjusted rate was 4.1 percent in September, 4.1 percent in August and 3.9 percent in September 2017.

Wage and salary employment reached a record high in September, and the number of people counted as working was also a record high, for the fifth month in a row.

“Not only are we experiencing record high employment, this month we’ve also broken another record–our economy is currently supporting the most number of jobs in history,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “September’s job count of 2,048,000 bypasses the previous record of 2,045,800, which was set in December 2007.”

Alabama had a year-over-year job growth of 1.3 percent, the largest percentage increase in 2018.

“In January, economists predicted that Alabama would see job growth of 27,000 in 2018.  I’m pleased to say that, year-to-date, we’ve already seen job growth of 47,000, surpassing that prediction by 20,000 jobs, and we still have three months left to grow,” Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington said.