MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's unemployment rate is holding steady at a record low level.
Gov. Kay Ivey's office says the state's jobless rate was 3.5 percent in December. That's the same as November, when the state matched its all-time low for unemployment.
Ivey's office says the December rate means nearly 2.1 million people were employed in the state. That's the most ever, surpassing the December number by about 45,000 persons.
The new numbers also mean the state employment picture is beating the national average. The U.S. unemployment rate is holding steady at a 17 year-low of 4.1 percent, which is six-tenths of a percent higher than the state rate.
Shelby County in metro Birmingham has Alabama's lowest unemployment rate at 2.5 percent, and Wilcox County in western Alabama is highest at 9.5 percent.