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State sets new record low unemployment rate

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama has never experienced a jobs market this robust. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Monday that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted January unemployment rate has dropped to a record low of 3.7 percent. This is down from December 2017’s revised rate of 3.8 percent and well below January 2017’s rate of 5.5 percent.

“As we start a new year, we’re pleased to announce that we’re starting off with a new record low unemployment rate,” Ivey said. “Nearly 40,000 fewer people are counted as unemployed, also setting a new record low.  We have been working hard for months to bring quality, high-paying jobs to Alabama, and we’re putting our people back to work.  We will continue this work in 2018, and we hope to maintain these fantastic numbers.”

“It is not uncommon for preliminary rates to be adjusted as more precise data becomes available, especially around highly seasonal periods, such as the holidays,” Fitzgerald Washington, secretary of the Department of Labor, said. “Even with the adjustments, we are still in an extremely good place. It was recently announced that our yearly average unemployment rate in 2017 dropped more than any other state in the country. Our wage and salary employment continues to show yearly increases, and all 67 counties have experienced significant yearly drops in their unemployment rates, some as high as 4.9 percentage points.”

January’s rate represents 80,841 unemployed persons, compared to 82,378 in December and 120,788 in January 2017. Of Alabama’s current population, 2,079,871 people were counted as employed, compared to 2,081,176 in December, and 2,057,886 in January 2017

The previous record low unemployment rate measuring 3.8 percent was just set in December 2017, which also tied with October and November 2017 and with several months in 2007 (before the Great Recession). The preliminary rates announced for both November and December 2017 were 3.5 percemt. Following revisions, those rates are now 3.8 percent.

Each year, preliminary estimates released throughout the year by the states are revised by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in a process known as “annual processing.”

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Last month, the U.S. economy added 313,000 jobs and the unemployment rate remained at its lowest level in 17 years.

Nationally the unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 percent for the fifth consecutive month, the lowest rate since December 2000.

President Donald Trump said, “We have created nearly 3 million jobs since the election. Think of that. 3 million jobs. If I had said that before the election no one would have believed me.” “New jobless claims have hit a 48-year low last week.”

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