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Eight Months in a Row: Alabama Continues to Break Employment Records

March 11, 2019

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News Release
For Immediate Release: March 11, 2019
Eight Months in a Row: Alabama Continues to Break Employment Records
31,500 Jobs Added Over the Year

MONTGOMERY – For eight consecutive months, the number of people counted as employed in Alabama has reached record highs. In January 2019, this number measured 2,123,398, breaking December 2018’s revised count of 2,120,769.
“People are working in Alabama. Employers are hiring in Alabama. We continue to report record numbers of people with jobs, and we are seeing fewer and fewer people counted as unemployed, which is what we like to see,” said Fitzgerald Washington, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor.
The number of people counted as unemployed in January measured 83,406, which is the third lowest count in history. A year ago, this number measured 86,250.
Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted January 2019 unemployment rate is 3.8%, unchanged from December 2018’s rate, and below January 2018’s rate of 3.9%. Following end-of-year revisions, 3.8% marks the record low unemployment rate for Alabama.
“While maintaining our record low unemployment rate, we’ve also seen some great over-the-year growth in some of our high wage industries,” continued Washington. “Both the construction, information, and manufacturing sectors saw significant increases from January 2018 to January 2019.”
Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 31,500, with gains in the leisure and hospitality sector (+7,600), the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+4,400), and the construction sector (+4,200), among others.
The construction sector experienced job growth measuring 5.0% over-the-year, the information sector experienced growth measuring 3.9% and the manufacturing sector experienced job growth measuring 1.4% over-the-year.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 3.2%, Marshall and Cullman Counties at 3.7%, and Tuscaloosa, Morgan, Madison, and Elmore Counties at 3.8%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 10.5%, Lowndes County at 8.2%, and Clarke County at 7.9%.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Homewood at 2.7%, Vestavia Hills at 2.9%, and Alabaster at 3.0%. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 8.8%, Prichard at 7.5%, and Anniston at 6.1%.
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Members of the media seeking more information should contact Communications Director Tara Hutchison at (334) 242-8616.

“Seasonal adjustment” refers to BLS’s practice of anticipating certain trends in the labor force, such as hiring during the holidays or the surge in the labor force when students graduate in the spring, and removing their effects to the civilian labor force.
The Current Population (CPS), or the household survey, is conducted by the Census Bureau and identifies members of the work force and measures how many people are working or looking for work.
The establishment survey, which is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, surveys employers to measure how many jobs are in the economy. This is also referred to as wage and salary employment.
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