Alabama starts off with good news

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By Denise DuBois

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey released unemployment numbers in the state before Christmas. It was a seasonal surprise. The state’s unemployment level for November dropped to 3.5 percent, down from October’s previous record setting rate of 3.6 percent.

November’s rate represents 75,807 unemployed persons, also a new record low, compared to 77,231 in October and 136,135 in November 2016. More people were counted as employed in November, with 2,087,667 people working, up from 2,079,720 in October, and 40,152 more than in November 2016, when 2,047,515 were counted as employed.

In Lee County, the unemployment rate is 3.1 percent with 2,351 unemployed and 73,585 employed. In Russell County, the unemployment rate is 3.6 percent with 864 unemployed and 23,220 employed. Phenix City has a civilian labor force of 15,486 with only 513 unemployed.

“We have 30,500 more jobs now than we did last year, over 40,000 more people are working, and the number of unemployed has dropped by over 60,000 from last year –  the fewest number of people counted as unemployed in Alabama history!  We will continue our work to ensure that any Alabamian who wants a job, can find one,” Gov. Ivey said in a press release.

That sounds like good news for our communities.

In the East Alabama area, we’ve seen new businesses opened and jobs have been added over the last year.

Pair that with the Department of Human Resources in Russell County assisting fewer than 150 families on what used to be the old welfare program when there used to be thousands on the program. The organization’s jobs program, along with businesses adding jobs in the community, makes for happy, self-sufficient families.

It seems like happy, self-sufficient families spend more money in the community, creating more tax revenue for the city and county, which could add to the quality of life benefits. That’s pretty good news to start off the New Year. Here’s to more good news throughout 2018.