Of the top four metro areas in Alabama, it’s no surprise that Madison County (Huntsville area) was first. The average wage for the four metro counties is:
Madison County = $51,674
Jefferson County = $46,310
Montgomery County = $41,365
Mobile County = $39,854
But Madison County is not tops in the state. If I gave you all day, I’ll bet you couldn’t name the top county.
Well …, it’s actually Dale County.
Where is Dale County, you ask?
Not many folks know. It’s in Southeast Alabama. The county seat is Ozark. The average wage per job is an amazing $51,905.
And this may be the reason Dale County ranks at the top: It’s the home of Fort Rucker, the primary training base for Army Aviation. Those instructor pilots and army student pilots probably draw handsome salaries, and in a sparsely populated county, it significantly bumps up the average wage.
Another surprise is rural Washington County just north of Mobile. The average wage in that mostly timber oriented county is $50,152. But area residents will realize the reason is Tyssen-Krupp, the giant German steel manufacturer that picked Washington County, Alabama for their U.S. operations after an exhaustive nationwide location search.
The lowest wage in the state is found in the Black Belt area of Alabama. Perry County is at the bottom of the list at $27,629 per job. The county seat is Marion, about 30 miles northwest of Selma.
Second from the bottom is Geneva County, down on the Florida line.
But hey, let’s give Geneva County some credit. They’re known for producing some of the best tomatoes in Alabama.
Money isn’t everything.
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