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 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.
"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.
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 Tuscaloosa's jobless rate was 4.5 percent.
Tuscaloosa County's unemployment rate was 3.8 percent.
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.
Here's a look at West Alabama unemployment numbers:
• Bibb County, 4.0 percent
• Fayette County, 4.6 percent
• Greene County, 7.0 percent
• Hale County, 5.4 percent
• Lamar County, 4.1 percent
• Marengo County, 5.6 percent
• Perry County, 6.7 percent
• Pickens County, 4.7 percent
• Sumter County, 5.9 percent
Fitzgerald Washington, secretary of the state Department of Labor, was also pleased with the statewide numbers.
“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.
January's numbers mean that 80,841 were unemployed and 2,079,871 were employed in Alabama.