All counties see a drop in May

Walker unemployment drops to 3%

By ED HOWELL
Posted 6/25/19

In a set of astonishingly low record unemployment numbers where every Alabama county saw a decrease, Walker County posted a 3 percent jobless figure in May, while most of the counties were below 4 …

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All counties see a drop in May

Walker unemployment drops to 3%

Posted

In a set of astonishingly low record unemployment numbers where every Alabama county saw a decrease, Walker County posted a 3 percent jobless figure in May, while most of the counties were below 4 percent. 

The worst unemployment in Alabama was 6.6 percent in Wilcox County, while the lowest was 2.1 percent in Shelby County, according to numbers released Friday by the Alabama Department of Labor.  Only five counties were above 5 percent, while 10 counties were above 4 percent. 

The seasonally adjusted state rate in May was 3.7 percent, down from 3.8 percent in April and 4.1 percent in May 2018. The Labor Department said the state rate ties the rates in February and March for the lowest unemployment rate in Alabama history. 

The count for people employed in the state in May rose to a record high of 2,150,481, indicating an increase of 40,720 people. The civilian labor force rose to 2,233,045 in May, the highest level ever. The civilian labor force represents the number of people ago 16 or older who are working and looking for a job outside of the military and those in institutions. 

Walker County dropped from 3.6 percent to 3 percent in May, while Winston County fell from 3.9 percent to 3.3 percent. That compared to 3.8 percent in May 2018 for Walker, and 3.6 percent at the same time for Winston. 

The seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate in May remained the same at 3.6 percent and compared to 3.8 percent from a year earlier.

According to the Department of Labor, Walker County had an estimated 781 people listed as unemployed out of a civilian labor force of 25,817. The number of unemployed in April was 915 and had been 941 a year earlier. The civilian labor force grew by nearly 70 people in May. 

Unemployment rates in May for surrounding counties include Blount County, 2.5 percent (down from 2.9 percent), Cullman, 2.5 percent (down from 3 percent), Fayette, 3.1 percent (down from 3.6 percent), Jefferson, 2.7 percent (down from 3.2 percent), Marion, 3.4 percent (down from 4 percent); and Tuscaloosa, 2.8 percent (down from 2.9 percent). 

Marion County was the 21sh highest employments in the state out of 67 counties, while Winston County was 25th highest. Fayette County was ranked 31sth highest, while Walker County was the 31st lowest. Tuscaloosa County was 19th lowest, while Jefferson County was 16th lowest. 

Cullman County had the sixth lowest jobless rate in the state, and Blount County was ninth lowest. 

Last year, Walker County had the 15th highest annual average for unemployment for the year, at 5 percent, while Winston was 17th at 4.7 percent. Fayette County was 22nd at 4.6 percent, and Marion County was 29th highest at 4.2 percent. 

Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement Friday, "Since day one, my administration has sought the best ways to make our state business-friendly for small businesses and attractive to world-class industry. It is certainly paying off because in May, each of Alabama's 67 counties saw their unemployment drop." All counties  showed over-the-year rate decreases, in addition to monthly decreases. 

"Alabama is breaking record after record! I am proud of the footing we are making; however, we will not tire our efforts. It remains our goal to ensure every Alabamian who wants a job can get a job." 

Over-the-year job growth from May 2018 to May of this year in Alabama was posted at 1.9 percent. Over the same period, job growth in the U.S. was measured at 1.5 percent.