Local officials join in the groundbreaking for Royal Technologies expansion.

Alabama’s unemployment rate dropped to a historic low in October — 3.6 percent — after tying the record last month, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Friday.

While Cullman County tied for the state’s second lowest unemployment rate at 3 percent, that's up from September’s rate of 2.8 percent but way down from October 2016’s rate of 5.4 percent. In Cullman, there were 1,132 listed as unemployed, up from September’s number of 1,058, but down from October 2016’s 2,068.

“We had great news last month, when we announced that Alabama’s unemployment rate had tied its lowest ever. Today, our news is even bigger! Alabama’s unemployment rate has dropped even more, registering a new record low!” Ivey said in a news release Friday.

“What we are doing is working, and as a result, the people of Alabama are working.”

The report marks the fewest recorded number — 77,358 — of unemployed people in the state’s history, down from September’s number of 82,562 and 133,875 in October 2016.

“I will persist in my efforts to put every Alabamian who wants to work in a good paying job by recruiting high-wage, high-skill industries to Alabama,” Ivey said.

Shelby County touts Alabama’s lowest unemployment rate of 2.6 percent, with Alabaster, Homewood and Vestavia Hills notching 2.4 percent each and Hoover at 2.6 percent.

Cullman County is tied with Marshall, Madison and Lee counties for the second lowest, followed by Tuscaloosa and Elmore counties at 3.1 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox at 8.9 percent, Clarke at 6.6 percent, and Lowndes at 6.4 percent. Major cities with the highest unemployment rates are Prichard and Selma at 6.5 percent, Anniston at 4.9 percent and Bessemer at 4.8 percent.

“As we continue to see our unemployment rate drop, Alabama’s businesses continue to hire and support real jobs in our economy,” said Fitzgerald Washington, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor.

“Our wage and salary employment figures are currently at the third highest level since we began keeping records. There are nearly 30,000 more jobs today than there were in October of last year. Through job fairs and the services provided at our Career Centers located throughout the state, we are helping employers find the employees they are looking for.”

Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 29,400, with gains in the leisure and hospitality sector (up 7,100), the professional and business services sector (up 6,400), and the manufacturing sector (up 6,100), among others.

Wage and salary employment increased in October by 6,500. Monthly gains were seen in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (up 3,300), the education and health services sector (up 2,700), and the government sector (up 2,200), among others.

Tiffeny Owens can be reached at or at 256-734-2131, ext. 135.

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