Shelby County unemployment rate holds steady

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

Shelby County’s October unemployment rate stayed the same as the months before, at 6.8 percent. The county continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the state.

The state’s unemployment rate also held steady at 8.9 percent, below the national rate of 9.6 percent.

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said October marked nine months of no increase in the unemployment rate.

“That is certainly a statistic that makes us happy,” he said. “The department is continuing to pay less in benefits, and initial claims remain below 2008 and 2009 levels. These are all positive signs for Alabama’s economic recovery.”

October’s rate of 8.9 percent for the state is equal to 189,358 unemployed, down from 224,708 at the same time last year.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby, Coffee at 7.1 percent and Madison at 7.1 percent. Counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox at 20.1 percent, Greene at 18.4 percent and Dallas at 17.2 percent.