ADOL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington on record employment figures: ‘The collaboration right now with Gov. Ivey’s administration is humming on all cylinders’
Last week, the Alabama Department of Labor reported a new record low unemployment rate of 3% and additional historic bests for the number of people working and in the labor force.
In an interview with Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Alabama Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington touted the 3% seasonally adjusted figure for September, which was down a tenth of a point from the previous record set in August.
He credited Gov. Kay Ivey for her commitment to employment.
“I would have to say I look up to the governor,” he said. “Gov. Kay Ivey has a strong commitment to job creation, to workforce development. So right now, in my opinion, the relationship we are afforded through Gov. Ivey’s leadership is building really strong public and private partnerships. I think that is a direct result of all of these milestones that we’re hitting. Look at the fact that our unemployment rate is at a historic low, 3%. It was almost unheard of in years past. But look at where we are right now. There are jobs out there available, and one of the responsibilities for our agency is to make sure we raise awareness with job seekers and connect them with employers that want hire for specific positions.”
Washington explained there are efforts underway to get the number even lower. He said his agency serves as a mechanism to connect job seekers and employers seeking to fill positions that require specific skill sets.
“The collaboration right now with Gov. Ivey’s administration is humming on all cylinders,” he added. “As you heard me mention, the state’s unemployment rate is at a historic low – 3%. But also, one challenge is the number of people that we documented as unemployed is at an all-time low, which is good. But that 66,000 people that we reported as unemployed, in my opinion, they are facing barriers to get into the workforce. We want to push those job seekers who are unemployed to one of our 50 career centers around the state who will do an assessment. If they need specific training, we can move them into training programs and get them into some of these in-demand high-wage jobs.”