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46,330 more Alabamians had jobs in November than in 2017


The Alabama Labor Department announces that the state continues to break employment and job records.

In November 2018, 2,128,082 people were counted as employed, an increase of 46,330 from November 2017. Wage and salary employment, which measures the number of jobs our economy is supporting, grew to 2,069,800, representing a yearly increase of 35,400 jobs.

“Business is booming in Alabama,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “We are continuing to shatter employment records month after month. Jobs are growing at a record 1.7% yearly growth rate. It’s a great time to be doing business in Alabama.”

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) said on Twitter, “As the result of our comprehensive workforce efforts, employment and job counts have once again reached record levels! I’m glad to see more Alabamians working, and our unemployment rate going down.”

Wage and salary employment grew by 1.7 percent from November 2017 to November 2018, tying with October 2018 and July 2015 for the largest over-the-year percentage growth in history.

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 35,400, with gains in the professional and business services sector (+11,900), the manufacturing sector (+10,200), and the education and health services sector (+3,200), among others.

Wage and salary employment increased in November by 6,400. Monthly gains were seen in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+6,000), the education and health services sector (+1,700), and the government sector (+1,200), among others.

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Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is to 4.0 percent, which was down from October’s rate of 4.1 percent, and above November 2017’s rate of 3.8 percent. November’s rate represents 87,757 unemployed persons, compared to 89,745 in October and 81,970 in November 2017. Wages are also increasing.

“Average weekly earnings continue to increase, with workers seeing an additional $34.76 per week in their paychecks,” continued Washington. “Those working in the manufacturing sector also saw an increase in their earnings, with manufacturing weekly earnings at their highest level in history.”

Total private average weekly earnings increased to $838.89, up from $804.13 in November 2017, representing a $34.76 increase. This represents the second highest level in history, surpassed only by September 2018’s average weekly wages of $849.89.

Manufacturing earnings in Alabama rose to their highest level in history, to $1062.18 per week.

Shelby County again has the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 2.5 percent. Marshall, Madison, and Cullman Counties followed at 2.9 percent, and Morgan, Limestone, and Elmore Counties at 3.0 percent. The Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 7.9 percent, Clarke County at 6.4 percent, and Dallas and Lowndes Counties at 5.8 percent.

The major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Homewood and Vestavia Hills at 2.3 percent, Alabaster at 2.4 percent, and Northport, Madison, and Hoover at 2.5 percent. The major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 6.5 percent, Prichard at 6.1 percent, and Anniston at 4.7 percent.

The Current Population (CPS), or the household survey, is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and identifies members of the work force and measures how many people are working or looking for work. The establishment survey is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor. It surveys employers to measure how many jobs are in the economy. This is also referred to as wage and salary employment.

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Ivey was recently elected to her own term as governor. Her campaign made the impressive employment numbers and the jobs created since she ascended to the governor’s mansion as a key campaign issue.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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