State unemployment rate goes up while county rate goes down

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

Alabama’s unemployment rate went up during the month of November, but Shelby County’s unemployment rate actually decreased during that month.

Alabama’s November unemployment rate was 9 percent, slightly above October’s rate of 8.9 percent. Shelby County’s November rate was 6.7 percent, down from October’s rate of 6.8 percent.

Alabama followed the national trend. The United States unemployment rate for November was 9.8 percent, up from October’s rate of 9.6 percent.

“We saw a small increase, but our unemployment continues to remain well below the national average and our Employment Service Division is reporting more active job orders than at any time in the past three years,” said Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees.

Alabama’s November unemployment rate represents 192,961 unemployed people, compared to 189,289 in October. A year ago, in November 2009, the state’s unemployment rate was 10.9 percent, which represented 224,552 unemployed.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby, Coffee at 7 percent and Madison at 7.1 percent. The counties with the highest unemployment rates were Wilcox at 20.7 percent, Greene at 18.3 percent and Dallas at 16.8 percent.