Alabama Jobless Rate Inches Higher

(Montgomery-AP) -- Alabama's unemployment rate inched upward in October to 5.6%.

September's figure was 5.5%. Department of Industrial Relations director Phyllis Kennedy said the October numbers are below the 5.9% rate posted one year ago. Kennedy said the Alabama figure represents 120,300 unemployed Alabamians and. "The state rate also remains below the national rate of 6%," says Kennedy.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was 6.1%. The department said the majority of job losses over the past year occurred in the manufacturing, trade, transportation and public utilities sectors. The largest job gains were in the construction industry.

Counties recording the highest unemployment rates were Washington with 15.3%; Wilcox at 14.9%; Bullock's rate was 13.9%; 12.8% in Lowndes County and 12.2% in Dallas County.

Shelby County recorded the lowest jobless rate at 2.6%. Other counties included Blount at 3.3%; Tuscaloosa with 3.5%. Baldwin and St. Clair counties each had 4.2%.

The majority of jobs were lost in the manufacturing sector which lost 11,100 jobs over the past year. Construction employment increased 1,900 over the year.

Associated Press Report