By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Friday, September 19, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted August unemployment rate is 6.9 percent, which is down from the July rate of 7.0 percent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists 147,346 Alabama residents as officially unemployed which is down from 148,652 in July.
Governor Bentley said in a statement, “August’s unemployment rate drop is good news for Alabama. We’ve seen more jobs come online, and those jobs are being filled by people who want to work. The Alabama workforce is strong, and our commitment to job creation is just as strong. Our job recruitment efforts will continue until every Alabamian who wants a job has the opportunity to find one.”
Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said, “This month’s unemployment rate reflects what usually happens as the summer winds down. The slight decrease in the labor force reflects people going back to school and no longer searching for work. Additionally, increases in jobs in local government and decreases in jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector further reflect the anticipated trend of people leaving summer employment and returning to school-related jobs.”
The number of Alabamians with jobs rose in August by 9,400. The professional and business services sector gained over 4,200 jobs and the construction sector grew by over 2,300 jobs. At 83,400 this is the highest that construction has been at since December 2010. The government sector also grew by over 1,800 jobs.
Over the last year, total wage and salary employment has increased by 19,500 new jobs. The largest gains have been in the leisure and hospitality sector where more than 6,500 jobs have been created, the manufacturing sector where over 6,200 more Alabamians are working, and the professional and business services sector which has grown by over 5,200 jobs.
Washington said that the gains were statewide with all but two counties experiencing unemployment decreases. Washington said, “Dallas, Greene, and Wilcox Counties, which are traditionally the counties with some of the highest unemployment rates, all saw their unemployment rates drop by nearly 2 percent – the largest decreases in unemployment rates in the entire state this month.”
The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 5.1 percent, Blount County at 5.7 percent, while Cullman, Lee, and Baldwin Counties are tied at 5.8 percent.
If you need a job go to JobLink, the state’s free online jobs database at www.joblink.alabama.gov
The site registered 24,413 active job orders in August. The Help Wanted Online (HWOL) data showed that 54,161 total job ads were placed online in Alabama during August which is up 1.58 percent from the month of July. The most advertised careers continue to be: truck drivers, retail supervisors, and registered nurses.