Each of Alabama’s 67 counties saw their unemployment rate drop in May when four statewide employment records were set, according to the Alabama Department of Labor.
The four records are the unemployment rate, number of people in the labor force, number of people working and job count.
May’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.7%, which ties with March’s and February’s rates for the lowest unemployment rate in Alabama history.
May’s 3.7% unemployment rate was down from April’s 3.8% and far below May 2018’s rate of 4.1%.
Elmore County has the third-lowest unemployment rate in the state at 2.4%.
The state’s civilian labor force increased to 2,233,045 in May, representing its highest level ever. The civilian labor force represents the number of people 16 and over who are either working or looking for work, excluding the military and those in institutions.
The number of people counted as employed in May rose to 2,150,481, another record representing a yearly increase of 40,720 people.
All 67 counties experienced over-the-month and over-the-year unemployment rate decreases.
“Since Day 1, my administration has sought the best ways to make our state business-friendly for small businesses and attractive to world-class industry and it is certainly paying off,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a release. “Alabama is breaking record after record. I am proud of the footing we are making; however, we will not tire our efforts. It remains our goal to ensure every Alabamian who wants a job can get a job.”
Over-the-year job growth in Alabama (from May 2018 to May 2019, not seasonally adjusted) measured 1.9%, which is better than the nationwide rate of 1.5%.
“Once again, Alabama’s job growth has surpassed the nation’s,” Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said in a release. “Our economy is supporting more jobs than ever before and Alabama’s employers are continuing to hire.”
Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 38,800 with gains in the professional and business services sector (+8,900), the leisure and hospitality sector (+7,300) and the construction sector (+6,700) among others.
Wage and salary employment also increased over the month, growing by 7,100. Monthly gains were seen in the leisure and hospitality sector (+2,600), the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+2,000) and the government sector (+1,000) among others.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby (2.1%), Marshall (2.3%) and Morgan and Elmore (2.4%).
Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox (6.6%) Greene (5.7%) and Lowndes (5.6%).
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are Vestavia Hills (1.8%), Homewood (1.9%) and Alabaster and Hoover (2.1%). Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Selma (6.2%), Prichard (5.4%) and Anniston (4.1%).