SYLACAUGA, Ala. –  The unemployment rate in the state of Alabama is at a near ten-year low. As recently announced by Governor Kay Ivey, Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted July unemployment rate was 4.5%. This is well below July 2016’s rate of 5.8%.

July’s rate represents 96,251 unemployed persons, compared to 126,182 one year ago in the state.

“There are fewer people unemployed than there have been in nearly 10 years. This is most welcome news,” Governor Ivey said.

“In addition to this being the lowest unemployment rate Alabama has seen since January 2008, we also continue to see yearly growth in many of Alabama’s industries, including manufacturing and construction,” Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington said. “Upticks in manufacturing and construction jobs are indicative of positive economic growth.”

Birmingham-Hoover Metro Area Below State Average

The cities with the lowest unemployment rates in the state of Alabama are in the greater Birmingham area. Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are Vestavia Hills at 2.9%, Homewood and Hoover at 3.3%, and Alabaster at 3.4%.

The unemployment rate in the overall Birmingham-Hoover metro area has decreased from 5.7% in July 2016 to 4.4% in July 2017.

The employment count in this area has increased by nearly 8,000 jobs since July 2016, which directly impacts the unemployment rate.

The Birmingham-Hoover metro area has seen an overall increase in the civilian labor force over the last year, unlike Talladega County which experienced a decrease. The labor force in the Birmingham-Hoover area has increased by 1,195 people from July 2016 to July 2017.

Unemployment Down in Talladega County and Surrounding Areas

Talladega County’s unemployment rate is higher than the state average, but has dropped significantly in the last year. The county’s unemployment rate in July 2016 was 6.8%, and it is down to 5.5% as of July 2017.

Since July 2016, the number of people counted as unemployed in Talladega County has dropped from 2,366 to 1,906 according to the Governor’s office.

The number of people in the civilian labor force in the county has decreased by 352 people since July 2016. This drop in labor force contributes greatly to the decreased number of people counted as in unemployed in Talladega County.

The actual the number of jobs in Talladega County has increased by only 108 jobs in the past year.

Talladega County’s unemployment rate matches that of Calhoun and Coosa counties, which are also at 5.5%.

Unemployment rates in other nearby counties are as follows: Clay at 5.0%, Tallapoosa at 4.9%, Jefferson at 4.6%, and Shelby at 3.5%. Shelby county has the lowest unemployment rate of any county in the state.

Unemployment Rates Statewide

The number of people in the state of Alabama counted as unemployed is down 29,931 from July 2016. The last time this measurement was at or below July’s level was in November 2007, when it measured 95,445.

“Even as our unemployment rate continues to decline, we must maintain our work to bring quality, high-paying, high-demand jobs to the state of Alabama. This is a goal I’m committed to, and I intend to continue doing just that,” Governor Ivey said.

According to the Governor’s office, wage and salary employment increased 31,300 over the year. These gains spread across the leisure and hospitality sector (+12,500), the professional and business services sector (+7,200), the manufacturing sector (+6,700), and the construction sector (+4,900), among others.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 3.5%, Cullman and Baldwin Counties at 4.0%, and Marshall and Elmore Counties at 4.1%.  Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 13.5%, Perry County at 10.8%, and Clarke County at 10.2%.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Selma at 10.9%, Prichard at 9.7%, and Anniston at 6.5%.

Rhonda Shierling for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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