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State unemployment highest this year

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Alabama's unemployment rate increased to 3.7 percent in July, the highest figure recorded this year, but still one of the best rates in the country.

State Industrial Relations Director Phyllis Kennedy said Alabama's rate was up from 3.5 percent recorded in May and June and was slightly above the 3.6 percent of July 2006.

The national rate also went up from 4.5 percent in June to 4.6 percent in July, Kennedy said in a news release Friday.

Alabama's July figure, the highest so far this year, represented 81,498 unemployed people, compared to 79,123 in July, she said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Alabama's unemployment rate for July was tied for 10th lowest in the nation.

The only southern state with a lower rate was Virginia, which ranked sixth with 3.1 percent.

In Alabama, counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby at 2.6 percent, Baldwin at 2.9 percent, and Madison, Blount and Autauga at 3.1 percent.

Counties with the highest rates were Bullock at 10.5 percent, Wilcox at 9.9 percent and Dallas at 9.7 percent.

Industrial Relations spokesman Ron Macksoud said this was the first time since July 2006 that a county went into double digits, and the county that did it a year ago was Bullock.

On the Net:

Industrial Relations labor market information at http://dir.al.alabama.gov

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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