Jobless rate steady at 4%

Published 11:14 pm Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Covington County and Alabama recorded record low unemployment in November, according to figures released Friday by the Alabama Department of Labor.

Covington County’s jobless rate was 4.0 percent in November, down from 4.8 percent in October, and the same rate as November of 2017.

Alabama’s jobless rate also was 4.0 percent in November, down from 4.1 percent in October, and slightly up from the 3.8 percent rate of November 2017.

“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 percent yearly growth rate. It’s a great time to be doing business in Alabama.”

In neighboring counties, Geneva County had a 3.3 percent unemployment; Coffee County had 3.5 percent; Crenshaw and Escambia had 3.8 percent unemployment; Butler County had 4.0 percent; and Conecuh County had 4.5 percent.

In November 2018, 14,925 people were counted as employed in Covington County, an increase of 69 from November 2017. 

In November 2018, 2,128,082 people were counted as employed in Alabama, an increase of 46,330 from November 2017.

“Average weekly earnings continue to increase, with workers seeing an additional $34.76 per week in their paychecks,” Washington said. “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 rose to their highest level in history, to $1062.18 per week.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 2.5 percent, Marshall, Madison, and Cullman Counties at 2.9 percent, and Morgan, Limestone, and Elmore Counties at 3.0 percent.

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.

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.  Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 6.5 percent, Prichard at 6.1 percent, and Anniston at 4.7 percent.