From Trussville Tribune staff reports
According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today, Alabama had the largest unemployment rate decrease in the nation, both over the month and over the year. Alabama’s unemployment rate dropped by 0.3 percentage points from July to August, and 1.7 percentage points from August 2016 to August 2017.
“The news that Alabama experienced the largest rate drop in the country is most welcome,” said Fitzgerald Washington, secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor. “We’ve already announced this morning that we’ve got the fewest number of unemployed people in Alabama in a decade and that we are below the national average for the first time in years. We are committed to working with employers and jobseekers to ensure thatwe continue to put people back to work.”
“After hovering near the national unemployment rate for several months, Alabama’s rate has dropped below it for the first time in many years,” Governor Kay Ivey said according to a press release. “This is a milestone we’ve been working toward for some time. We announced this week that Autocar, LLC. is opening a new plant in Birmingham, bringing nearly 750 new jobs. As we continue to recruit new businesses to Alabama, hopefully, we’ll be able to maintain that achievement in the months to come.”
The comparable national unemployment rate is 4.4 percent, up slightly from July’s rate of 4.3 percent. The last time Alabama’s unemployment rate was below the national rate was in October 2013.
August’s rate represents 90,913 unemployed persons, compared to 96,158 in July and 128,413 in August 2016. The last time the number of unemployed was at or below 90,913 was in August 2007, when it measured 89,206.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 3.2 percent ; Cullman County at 3.6 percent; and Elmore, Madison, and Marshall Counties at 3.7 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 11.3 percent, Clarke County at 8.6 percent and Greene County at 7.8 percent.
The unemployment rate in Jefferson County is 4.1 percent.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills at 2.8 percent, Homewood at 2.9 percent and Alabaster at 3 percent. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 8.3 percent, Prichard at 8 percent and Bessemer at 5.6 percent.