Employment & Economy In Montgomery County
A region of economic diversity, Montgomery County is home to state and regional governments, Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex, universities, an extensive service industry, high-tech manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, tourism and an industrial base that includes Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama — Hyundai’s first manufacturing plant in the United States. Due to its location along the Alabama River and extensive rail connections, Montgomery is a regional distribution hub for a wide range of industries, serving as a wholesaling and distribution gateway to the Southeast as well as the 22-county central Alabama area.
Montgomery is the capital of Alabama and the second-largest city in the state. The metropolitan area, composed of Autauga, Elmore, Lowndes and Montgomery counties, has a population of approximately 374,000. Montgomery County has more than 226,000 residents, including more than 17,000 veterans, according to the U.S. Census. The unemployment rate for the Montgomery area was 4.8 percent in June 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The median age in Montgomery County is 36 years. Median household income was $45,358 in 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Alabama has a state income tax with a sliding scale up to 5 percent. Sales taxes in the city of Montgomery are 10 percent.
The county has a relatively well-educated population compared with the state overall. Of those over the age of 25, nearly 86 percent have a high school diploma or higher and approximately 32 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher — both figures above the state average.
Leading industries include agricultural support; finance and insurance; health care; manufacturing, warehouses and distribution; professional, scientific and technical fields; tourism; transportation; and retail trade. The largest employer in the region is the Maxwell-Gunter complex, followed by the state of Alabama, Montgomery Public Schools and Baptist Health.
The professional economic development team of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce assists new and expanding businesses by offering information and resources for site selection, taxes and financing, workforce training and incentives. For more information, visit www.choosemontgomery.com.
The Montgomery Internet Exchange, also known as MGMix, is the state’s first and only internet exchange. Established in 2016, the open exchange is a collaboration between Montgomery County, the City of Montgomery, research universities, Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base and the Air Force Cyber College. The service is one of the busiest exchanges in the Southeast in terms of data volume and offers area businesses, schools and others fast internet speeds, cutting-edge security and enhanced connectivity.
MGMix plays an important role in expanding industry in the River Region and cultivating growth in the burgeoning tech sector, while improving the quality of life for area residents.
Manufacturing and Distribution
More than 400 manufacturing, warehouse and distribution companies in the Montgomery Metro Area employ more than 26,500 people. The area is home to Hyundai Motor Company’s first North American production facility, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. The facility, which produces the brand’s Sonata and Elantra models, was named the most efficient and productive original equipment manufacturer in North America.
The county is also home to DAS North America, which opened its first North American manufacturing facility in Montgomery. The automotive seat component supplier manufactures enough seat components to equip a million cars each year.
Other manufacturing companies in the area include Rheem and SABIC. Rheem, a leader in the heating, cooling and water heating industry, develops, designs and manufactures water heater products in Montgomery. SABIC’s 6,300-acre site features a facility that produces Lexan resin. This powder is transformed into plastic pellets for use in the automotive, construction and electronics industries. The facility makes 2 million to 3 million pounds of pellets every day.
Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex
The more than 12,500 people who work at Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex — including active-duty, reserve, civilian and contractor personnel — make the installation the largest employer in Montgomery County. Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex are estimated to have an economic impact of $2.6 billion annually across a three-county region, according to Maxwell Air Force Base.
Air University, based at Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex, is a key component of the Air Education and Training Command and is the Air Force’s center for professional military education. Air University’s primary operating locations are concentrated on three main installations. Most programs are at Maxwell, some are across town at Maxwell’s Gunter Annex and one is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.