St. Clair earns top-5 ranking in economic vitality

This week, Auburn University’s Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI) ranked St. Clair County fifth in economic vitality in Alabama. The ranking is a reflection of the county’s strong showing in two categories: unemployment rate and median household income.

Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that St. Clair County currently leads the State of Alabama with an increase of 15.4 percent in median household income since 2009. And, according to the Auburn ECDI, the county has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 4.4 percent.

“The St. Clair County Commission and the mayors all work so closely together to push this county forward,” said Lyman Lovejoy, Chairman of the St. Clair County Economic Development Committee (EDC) Board of Directors. “They work to keep business costs low and to increase the quality of life. I am not surprised that we have achieved this ranking because of the good growth our county is experiencing.”

The ECDI looks at four factors when creating its ranking every two years: Population Growth, Workforce Readiness, Personal Income, and Employment. St. Clair County came in third in the percent job change category with an increase of 28.4 percent in jobs between 2003 and 2012. This compares with a United States percent job change of 7.4 percent, and an Alabama job change rate of 6.5 percent.

In addition, the ECDI saw a 33.3 percent population increase between 2000 and 2013, with a 3.2 percent population change occurring between 2010 and 2013. The State of Alabama saw an 8.7 percent population increase between 2000 and 2013 and a 2.4 percent population increase between 2010 and 2013. The unemployment rate in St. Clair County is currently ranked No. 1 at 4.4. The United States unemployment rate is currently at 7.4 percent, and Alabama currently has an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent.

The top-5 ranking counties were three metro areas — Shelby, Madison and Baldwin — in addition to two large counties — Elmore and St. Clair. St Clair County was ranked No. 7 last year.

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