Alabama's unemployment rises to 11.1 percent

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's unemployment has risen to 11.1 percent, the highest figure in 26 years. The state Department of Industrial Relations announced the January rate Wednesday.

It is up from December's revised rate of 10.9 percent. The last time Alabama recorded 11.1 percent unemployment was January 1984. Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said Alabama saw a decline of 30,800 jobs in January, and the unemployed rate represents more than 228,000 people.

"As we begin a new year, I hope that this great recession is nearing its end..." Surtees said. "As that happens, I would like to remind everyone that the unemployment rate is a lagging indicator of economic recovery."

The counties with the lowest unemployment are Madison at 8.7 percent, Shelby at 8.8 percent, and Coffee at 9.0 percent. The counties with the highest unemployment are Wilcox at 27.4 percent, Monroe at 22.4 percent, and Conecuh at 21.8 percent.

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