OFFICE OF GOVERNOR KAY IVEY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2018
CONTACT: DANIEL SPARKMAN – (334) 242-7150 | Daniel.Sparkman@governor.alabama.gov
Alabama’s February Unemployment Rate Maintains Record Low of 3.7%
Economy Gained Nearly 15,000 Jobs
MONTGOMERY— Governor Kay Ivey announced today that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted February unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%, well below February 2017’s rate of 5.3%. February’s rate represents 80,685 unemployed persons, compared to 80,807 in January and 115,397 in February 2017. 2,080,339 people were counted as employed, up from January’s count of 2,079,876, and up from February 2017’s count of 2,060,841.
“The fact that we are able to maintain our record low unemployment rate for yet another month shows that we are, in fact, keeping Alabamians working,” said Governor Ivey. “Once again, we can announce that we have the fewest number of unemployed people in history. More people are working, and our economy is adding jobs. This is a combination I’m proud of, and one we hope to maintain for many more months to come.”
“We have maintained a wage and salary employment count of over two million for eleven months in a row now,” said Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “Not long ago, we were looking forward to just attaining that ‘magic number.’ We are consistently adding jobs to our economy. These numbers show that employers are confident in the economy and are continuing to hire.”
Wage and salary employment grew in February by 14,800. Monthly gains were seen in the education and health services sector (+4,700), the government sector (+2,600), and the professional and business services sector (+2,400), among others.
Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 19,300, with gains in the education and health services sector (+5,000), the professional and business sector (+4,300), the leisure and hospitality sector (+4,200), and the manufacturing industry (+2,400), among others.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 3.1%, Cullman County at 3.6%, and Marshall, Madison, and Blount Counties at 3.7%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 10.5%, Clarke County at 8.0%, and Lowndes County at 7.4%.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills at 2.6%, Homewood at 2.9%, and Alabaster and Hoover at 3.0%. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Prichard at 7.5%, Selma at 7.2%, and Anniston at 6.5%.
“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.