MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama’s May 2017 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate represents a new low, as the 4.9 percent figure is the state’s lowest calculated unemployment rate since March of 2008. The 4.9 percent rate translates to 107,364 Alabamians out of work.
Since Gov. Ivey took over the reigns from former-Governor Robert Bentley (R), the unemployment rate has fallen 0.5 percent. April’s unemployment was 5.4 percent, and the rate this time last year was 5.8 percent.
“Over the past three months, our unemployment rate has fallen by an impressive 1.3 percentage points. May’s figures represent the lowest unemployment rate in more than nine years and more people working now than in the last ten years,” Gov. Ivey (R-Ala.) said today. “It is a team effort, and I sure am proud this rate decrease occurred during my first full month in office. We will continue to exhaust every effort and explore every opportunity until every Alabamian who wants a job, has a job.”
The top employment gains took place in the leisure and hospitality sector, the construction sector, and the manufacturing sector. Shelby (3.1 percent), Elmore (3.4 percent), and Cullman (3.5 percent) were the counties with the lowest rates in May, and Wilcox (10.9 percent), Clarke (8 percent), and Lowndes (7.4) County had the highest rates.
“Several years ago, in the heart of the recession, it wasn’t uncommon to see more than half of our counties with double-digit unemployment rates, particularly in the rural counties,” Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said. “Today, only one county [Wilcox] has double digit unemployment, and its rate has dropped by two full percentage points over the year.”
Every county but Sumter saw its rate decrease this month, and every county’s unemployment rate has decreased since this time last year.