Shelby County has the lowest unemployment rate in the state

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 8:06 PM CST
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SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Great news for Shelby County: They have the lowest unemployment rate in Alabama. So we wanted to know what leaders are doing to keep it so low.

58 Inc. is Shelby County’s economic development corporation, and the folks there say it’s all about job growth and diversity.

“What we try to do is make sure that those companies keep expanding, and that can be an office job or a manufacture, so we make sure those are growing because those jobs grow near home,” said CEO of 58 Inc., Amy Sturdivant.

The reason for the county’s low unemployment numbers is their large participation rate, meaning more people are working.

“65% of our population is very much participating in the labor force so that’s a great rate, Sturdivant said. “Part of the way we can do that is we have a pipeline of new graduates all the time.”

They have about 2,300 graduates a year coming out of the Shelby County, Alabaster and Pelham school systems who are coming into the workforce either immediately or after additional education.

“Our companies need specific talent and that may be a talent that requires a degree in a four year or beyond that or may require some certifications that some students are even getting while they are in high school or working toward those credentials that will get them that first job,” Sturdivant said.

An example of an industry that is struggling to find qualified workers nationwide is the health care industry. Shelby County leaders say locally, they work with UAB to attract students to a variety of opportunities within the county with the hopes of filling those jobs.

The county plans to continue what they have been doing by building on the recreation, innovation and talent they have in the county.

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