St. Johns Countys January unemployment rate lowest in state

Staff, wire report Alabama’s unemployment rate is down to 3.7 percent.

The state released preliminary, seasonally adjusted numbers Monday showing the jobless rate declined one-tenth of a percent in January from the December rate of 3.8 percent.

The rate represents a record low, but it could be adjusted later as more concrete data becomes available.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that despite the higher unemployment rate, North Carolina saw an additional 70,000 workers added to payrolls from January 2017 to January 2018.

The January number is still well below the January 2017 unemployment rate of 5.5 percent, however. And it represents 40,000 fewer unemployed persons than were in the state a year ago.

Data released by the state Commerce Department on Monday show North Carolinas jobless rate only matched the national average in August, when both were at 4.4 percent.

“We have been working hard for months to bring quality, high-paying jobs to Alabama, and we’re putting our people back to work,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a news release. “We will continue this work in 2018, and we hope to maintain these fantastic numbers.”

Alabama’s unemployment rate is three-tenths of a percent better than the U.S. jobless rate of 4.1 percent.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Monday that the states unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point from the December rate. The states unemployment rate remained below the national rate of 4.1 percent.

Northport was among the major cities with the lowest unemployment rate at 2.9 percent. Other major cities with the lowest jobless rates included Vestavia Hills at 2.5 percent, Homewood and Hoover at 2.8 percent and Alabaster at 2.9 percent. The city of Tuscaloosas jobless rate was 4.5 percent.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indianas unemployment rate has edged lower to 3.3 percent in January, continuing a decline in the state that was seen starting in November.

Shelby County has the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 3 percent, followed by Cullman County at 3.5 percent.

Wilcox County has the state’s worst employment picture with a jobless rate of 10.4 percent.

Fitzgerald Washington, secretary of the state Department of Labor, was also pleased with the statewide numbers.

However, employment in several other key sectors stagnated or even declined over the past year. There was a slight decline of about 100 jobs in education and health services, but that broad sector will have to keep growing as the population increases and as baby boomers age

“We are still in an extremely good place. It was recently announced that our yearly average unemployment rate in 2017 dropped more than any other state in the country. Our wage and salary employment continues to show yearly increases, and all 67 counties have experienced significant yearly drops in their unemployment rates, some as high as 4.9 percentage points,” Washington said.

Januarys numbers mean that 80,841 were unemployed and 2,079,871 were employed in Alabama.

January unemployment estimates for other states in the region were 2.6 percent in New Hampshire, 2.9 percent in Vermont, 3.5 percent in Massachusetts, 4.5 percent in Rhode Island and 4.5 percent in Connecticut, the department said.

New Jerseys jobs market grew in January, following positive results for 2017, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The preliminary U.S. unemployment rate of 4.1 percent for January was unchanged from December and down from 4.8 percent a year earlier. The New England average for January was 3.7 percent.

The department said Monday that data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated the state added 13,000 nonfarm jobs for the first month of the year, while the unemployment rate remained at 4.7 percent.

For the month, most of the jobs added came in the private sector, with six of nine major job sectors posting gains.

The leisure and hospitality sector posted a loss of 2,600 jobs, while the manufacturing and other services sectors were unchanged.

The DOL said the state added 43,400 jobs for all of 2017, an increase from the previously reported estimate of 22,900 jobs gained for the year.

For the December 2016 to December 2017 period, five of the nine major sectors added jobs:

The financial activities sector was unchanged year-over-year. Public-sector employment grew by 500 jobs for the year.

The average annual unemployment rate for 2017 was revised to 4.6 percent, down from a 5 percent average in 2016.

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