MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's unemployment rate jumped to 9.8 percent for May, which is the highest in nearly 25 years and more than double the rate from a year ago.
The April rate had been 9.0 percent.
The state Department of Industrial Relations says May's figure represents nearly 209,000 unemployed people.
The last time Alabama hit 9.8 percent unemployment was in December 1984. The rate in Alabama a year ago was 4.7 percent.
Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said Friday the nation is still gripped in a serious recession and Alabama is not immune from its effects.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rate were Shelby at 6.6 percent, Madison at 6.9 percent, and Coffee at 7.4 percent.
The counties with the highest rates were Wilcox at 23.9 percent, Lowndes at 18.0 percent, and Dallas at 17.7 percent.