AL unemployment rate climbs in Sept., Oct. - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

AL unemployment rate climbs in Sept., Oct.

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The Alabama Department of Labor is releasing unemployment rates for the month of September, as well as the preliminary rate for October.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Sept. was 6.4 percent, up from an adjusted August rate of 6.2 percent. That represents 136,716 unemployed people, up from 134,287 the previous month.

The rate again climbed in October to a preliminary 6.5 percent. That represents 138,029 unemployed people, up from 136,716 in September.

[Document: Oct. 2013 unemployment data by county (.pdf)]

[Document: Oct. 2013 unemployment data county map (.pdf)]

Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees called it, "a unique situation in that we have never experienced a reporting period quite like this." One of the things Surtees says affected the unemployment rate was the shutdown of the federal government.

"Our department estimates that there are approximately 40,000 federal employees in Alabama. During the shutdown, nearly 2,000 filed initial unemployment compensation claims, but thousands more did not," Surtees said.

Surtees says some problems in the jobless data have been created as a result of discrepancies in how federal government workers answered employment questions on different surveys. For example, Surtees says, some furloughed workers reported that they were unemployed but not looking for work, which would shrink the labor force. But at the same time, the same federal government jobs were counted as current jobs in a different survey.

The Alabama Dept. of Labor's data shows all but three of the state's 67 counties saw a decrease in their unemployment rate in Oct. 2013 when compared to Oct. 2012.

Shelby County (4.4), Lee County at (5.0) and Cullman County (5.4) had the lowest unemployment rates in September. Wilcox County (15.6), Dallas County (13.6), and Bullock County (13.0) had the highest unemployment rates in September.

Shelby County (4.3), Lee County (5.1), and Cherokee County (5.4) had the lowest unemployment rates in October and the highest unemployment rates were in Wilcox County (15.5), Bullock County (13.2), and Dallas County (13.0).

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