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Alabama unemployment rate remains at record low

Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted January 2020 unemployment rate remains at a record low 2.7%, unchanged from December 2019, according to the latest data from Alabama Department of Labor.

The news of the Yellowhammer State’s January unemployment rate, which is well below last January’s unemployment rate of 3.6%, was announced by Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL) Secretary Fitzgerald Washington on Monday.

“We are pleased to be able to maintain last year’s record low unemployment rate in Alabama,” Governor Kay Ivey said. “We will continue to focus efforts on job creation and workforce development, and remain hopeful that the economic good news will continue into the remainder of 2020.”

A press release from the Alabama Department of Labor on the matter noted, “January’s numbers represent an over-the-year increase in employment of 27,893, with the monthly total registering 2,186,364. The number of people counted as unemployed measured 61,114, a new record low, and represents an over-the-year drop of 18,346.”

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 19,200, with gains in the government sector (+6,900), the education and health services sector (+4,300), and the trade, transportation and utilities sector (+3,400), among others.

“Two big industries experienced significant over-the-year employment growth, with building construction experiencing an increase of nearly 13%, and motor vehicle manufacturing saw growth of nearly 6%,” Washington said.

Building construction employment saw an increase of 12.56% over the year, which measured 22,400 in January. Motor vehicle manufacturing employment also increased by 5.84% over the year and measured 14,500 in January.

Washington also noted that Alabamians saw an increase in their weekly earnings.

“Wages have also seen growth from this period last year,” he stated. “Alabama workers saw their average weekly earnings grow by $41.74.”

Average weekly earnings measured $872.01, up from $830.27 last January.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates included Shelby County (2.4%), Marshall and Madison Counties (2.7%), and Tuscaloosa, Morgan, Limestone and Cullman Counties (2.8%). Counties with the highest unemployment rates included Wilcox County (9%), Clarke County (6.2%) and Greene County (5.9%).

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