MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and members of her cabinet announced on the front steps of the State Capitol that Alabama’s unemployment rate has fallen below 5-percent for the first time since 2008.
The rate was 4.9-percent for the month of April 2017, which is down from last month and down almost a full percentage point from 2016.
“Over the past three months, our unemployment rate has fallen by an impressive 1.3 percentage points. May’s figures represent the lowest unemployment rate in more than nine years and more people working now than in the last ten years,” Governor Ivey said in a press release.
The last time Alabama’s unemployment rate was at or below 4.9-percent was March 2008 when it measured 4.8-percent. However, Alabama is still above the national average of 4.4-percent for the month of April.
“Fifty thousand more people have jobs now than they did last year,” Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said in a press release. He added, “Increased confidence in our economy is evidenced by not only that fact, but also that our employers are reporting the highest wage and salary employment numbers in almost a decade.”
The good news on jobs falls all the way to the Gulf Coast where Mobile once again saw a drop in the unemployment rate. The rate fell to 5-percent in April which is down from 5.3-percent in Mobile County. In Baldwin County, the unemployment rate is actually below the national average. In April, the rate was 3.6-percent which is down from 4.8-percent just one year ago.
“Several years ago, in the heart of the recession, it wasn’t uncommon to see more than half of our counties with double-digit unemployment rates, particularly in the rural counties. Today, only one county has double digit unemployment, and its rate has dropped by two full percentage points over the year,” Washington added.