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Alabama has Largest Annual Average Rate Drop in Nation

February 28, 2018

Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 28, 2017

Alabama has Largest Annual Average Rate Drop in Nation

MONTGOMERY – Alabama experienced the largest over the year drop based on annual averages, Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced today. According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Alabama’s decrease of 1.5 percentage points was the largest drop in the nation.

Alabama’s annual average unemployment rate for 2017 was 4.4%, down from 2016’s average rate of 5.9%. Alabama was followed by Wyoming (-1.1 points) and Tennessee (-1.0 point).

“We’ve been working very hard, collaborating with Governor Kay Ivey, other state agencies, county and local governments, and Alabama’s employers to bring down our unemployment rate,” said Washington. “What we are doing is working. Alabamians are working and employers are hiring. We are proud to lead the country in decreasing our unemployment rate.”

Alabama’s current unemployment rate, 3.5% in December 2017 (this is a preliminary figure and is subject to revision), is the lowest on record. January’s unemployment rate is scheduled to be released on March 12.

Please see attached table for full rankings.


The Alabama Department of Labor / The Alabama Career Center System is a partner in Alabama Works, Alabama’s unified workforce system.

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Members of the media needing more information should contact Tara Hutchison at 334-242-8616 / tara.hutchison@labor.alabama.gov



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Table A. States with statistically significant unemployment rate changes,
2016-17 annual averages
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Rate |
|-------------------------| Over-the-year
State | | | rate change
| 2016 | 2017 |
--------------------------------|------------|------------|---------------
Alabama ........................| 5.9 | 4.4 | -1.5
Arizona ........................| 5.4 | 4.9 | -.5
California .....................| 5.5 | 4.8 | -.7
Colorado .......................| 3.3 | 2.8 | -.5
Florida ........................| 4.8 | 4.2 | -.6
Georgia ........................| 5.4 | 4.7 | -.7
Hawaii .........................| 2.9 | 2.4 | -.5
Idaho ..........................| 3.8 | 3.2 | -.6
Illinois .......................| 5.8 | 5.0 | -.8
Indiana ........................| 4.4 | 3.5 | -.9
| | |
Iowa ...........................| 3.6 | 3.1 | -.5
Kansas .........................| 4.0 | 3.6 | -.4
Louisiana ......................| 6.0 | 5.1 | -.9
Maine ..........................| 3.8 | 3.3 | -.5
Minnesota ......................| 3.9 | 3.5 | -.4
Mississippi ....................| 5.8 | 5.1 | -.7
Missouri .......................| 4.6 | 3.8 | -.8
Nevada .........................| 5.7 | 5.0 | -.7
New Mexico .....................| 6.7 | 6.2 | -.5
North Carolina .................| 5.1 | 4.6 | -.5
| | |
North Dakota ...................| 3.1 | 2.6 | -.5
Oklahoma .......................| 4.8 | 4.3 | -.5
Oregon .........................| 4.8 | 4.1 | -.7
Pennsylvania ...................| 5.4 | 4.9 | -.5
Rhode Island ...................| 5.2 | 4.5 | -.7
South Carolina .................| 5.0 | 4.3 | -.7
Tennessee ......................| 4.7 | 3.7 | -1.0
Texas ..........................| 4.6 | 4.3 | -.3
Washington .....................| 5.3 | 4.8 | -.5
West Virginia ..................| 6.1 | 5.2 | -.9
Wisconsin ......................| 4.0 | 3.3 | -.7
Wyoming ........................| 5.3 | 4.2 | -1.1
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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Entire release can be found at: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/srgune.nr0.htm.