Crenshaw jobless rate up slightly, state average continues fall

Published 11:42 am Thursday, January 25, 2018

Despite record-low statistics across Alabama, Crenshaw County’s unemployment rate rose marginally in 2017.

Crenshaw County’s jobless rate increased an almost imperceptible amount from 3.6 percent in November 2017 to 3.7 percent in December 2017. The difference was so slight, in fact, that only three people accounted for the change; the number of unemployed people rose from 229 to 232 in a month’s time.

Both November and December’s unemployment rates for 2017 remain a drastic improvement from Crenshaw County’s unemployment situation a year ago; Crenshaw’s December 2016 unemployment rate was 6.1 percent.

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Still, the majority of Alabama counties trended in the opposite direction last month as the state overall average unemployment rate continued its precipitous fall.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Friday that 2,093,063 people were counted as employed in December statewide, which is the largest number ever recorded.

The number is up by roughly 6,000 from November’s figures, and about 40,000 higher than the statewide average a year ago.

Alabama’s statewide average unemployment rate currently sits at 3.5 percent, a far cry from December 2016’s rate of 6.3 percent.

“We are ending 2017 with great news on the employment front,” Governor Ivey said.  “Not only have we reached a record low unemployment rate, but now we can add another record to our list – more people are working in Alabama than ever before! We’ve been busy recruiting new business to our state, like our recent announcement of Toyota-Mazda’s decision to locate in North Alabama, bringing 4,000 jobs and more than 300 jobs in Troy due to Kimber’s recent announcement.”

“In early 2017, economists predicted that Alabama’s economy would gain 18,700 jobs over the year,” said Fitzgerald Washington, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor.  “I’m happy to say that we surpassed that prediction by more than 13,000 jobs, gaining a total of 32,500 jobs. Employers are hiring in Alabama, and we stand ready to provide whatever assistance is needed to make sure that they are able to fill their open positions.”

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 32,500, with gains in the leisure and hospitality sector (+8,700), the construction sector (+6,100), and the manufacturing sector (+5,800), among others.

“Over the year, all 67 showed significant decreases in their unemployment rates,” continued Washington.  “Wilcox County is leading with a 6.2 percentage point drop from the same time last year.”

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 2.5 percent, Cullman County at 2.8 percent, and Marshall, Madison, and Lee Counties at 2.9 percent.  Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 9.5 percent, Clarke County at 6.7 percent, and Lowndes County at 6.5 percent.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates are: Vestavia Hills at 2.1 percent, Homewood at 2.3 percent, and Alabaster and Hoover at 2.4 percent.  Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are: Selma at 6.3 percent, Prichard at 6.2 percent, and Anniston at 5.0 percent.