Alabama Department of Labor

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Alabama Breaks Employment Record Again; 2.1+ Million People Working

August 17, 2018

Press Releases

News Release
For Immediate Release: August 17, 2018
Alabama Breaks Employment Record Again; 2.1+ Million People Working
Average Weekly Wages Highest in 11 Years

MONTGOMERY – Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced today that Alabama has broken its employment record for the third month in a row. In July, 2,105,513 people were counted as employed, up from June’s count of 2,098,121, and up from July 2017’s count of 2,077,406, representing a yearly increase of 28,107.
In July, 90,987 people were counted as unemployed, compared to 89,302 in June and 89,858 in July 2017.
“We continue to break employment records in Alabama,” said Washington. “Nearly 30,000 more people are working now than they were last year. The message is clear, Alabama: we have jobs!”
“Those jobs are coming with higher wages,” continued Washington. “We’ve seen wages increase both over the month and over the year. In fact, workers in Alabama are earning more weekly than they have in the past 11 years.”
Total private average weekly earnings rose to $830.55 in July, up from $815.97 in June, and up from $798.62 in July 2017.
Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 22,200, with gains in the manufacturing sector (+8,300), the professional and business services sector (+6,700), and the leisure and hospitality sector (+5,200), among others.
The preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July is 4.1%, which is unchanged from June’s rate, and equal to July 2017’s rate.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 3.1%, Cullman County at 3.5%, and Marshall, Elmore, and Baldwin Counties at 3.7%. Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 11.2%, Clarke County at 9.1%, and Perry County at 8.6%.
Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills at 2.7%, Hoover at 3.0%, and Homewood and Alabaster at 3.1%. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 9.3%, Prichard at 8.8%, and Anniston at 6.0%.
Members of the media seeking more information should contact Communications Director Tara Hutchison at (334) 242-8616.

“Seasonal adjustment” refers to BLS’s practice of anticipating certain trends in the labor force, such as hiring during the holidays or the surge in the labor force when students graduate in the spring, and removing their effects to the civilian labor force.
The Current Population (CPS), or the household survey, is conducted by the Census Bureau and identifies members of the work force and measures how many people are working or looking for work.
The establishment survey, which is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, surveys employers to measure how many jobs are in the economy. This is also referred to as wage and salary employment.