Alabama unemployment rises to 9.3 % for January

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's unemployment has risen to 9.3%.

State Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said Thursday the January rate is up from 9.1% in December, but it's better than the 10.3% Alabama recorded a year ago. The January rate represents more than 196,000 unemployed people.

Despite the increase, Surtees said there are some bright signs. The department's database of available jobs is larger than at any point since 2006, with the exception of the months following last year's Gulf oil spill.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates for January were Shelby at 7.1%, Coffee at 7.6%, and Pike and Madison at 8.1%. Counties with the highest rates were Wilcox at 21.7%, Lowndes at 18.3% and Greene at 17.7%

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