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Alabama job growth gains momentum in December

MONTGOMERY, Alabama – Job growth in Alabama during 2014 reached a pace not seen since 2007, and the state’s December unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent, the lowest rate in six years.

During 2014, employment in Alabama swelled by 31,800 jobs, with significant gains in manufacturing and construction, one of the hardest hit sectors during the deep U.S. economic recession that began in 2007. Alabama’s construction sector added 7,200 jobs last year, while the state’s manufacturing sector gained 7,100 jobs.

“Alabama’s unemployment rate is at a level this state has not experienced in more than six years,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “2014 ended on a positive note. Our unemployment rate stayed at 7 percent or below throughout the year, and our economy supported more jobs than it has since 2008.

“In other good news, our construction sector, which has seen large losses over the past few years, continues to grow,” he added. “Our efforts to recruit jobs will continue until we are able to provide an opportunity for every Alabamian to have a job.”

December’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.7 percent was down from November’s rate of 6 percent and December 2013’s rate of 6.1 percent, Governor Bentley said in a statement today.

Alabama’s construction sector added 400 jobs in December, pushing employment to 84,100, the highest level since November 2010, when the figure was 85,100.

When measured in percentage terms, Alabama’s annual job growth in 2014 was 1.13 percent, the most rapid pace since 2007, before the full effects of the national economic downturn were felt in the state. The 2007 figure was 1.32 percent.

“This year, Alabama experienced the highest annual percentage of job growth since 2007,” Alabama Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said. “We are continuing to recover from the devastating effects of the recession, and our rate of annual job growth reflects that.”

November’s unemployment rate report also showed accelerating momentum for the state’s economy.

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