Alabama's unemployment rate drops for 9th straight month to 7.2 percent

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - Alabama's unemployment rate has declined for the ninth straight month to 7.2 percent for April.

Governor Robert Bentley said Friday that Alabama's rate hasn't been this low since November 2008.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Shelby County at 4.6%, Coffee County at 5.3%, Lee County at 5.6%, and Limestone County at 5.6%.  The counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Wilcox County at 15.1%, Lowndes County at 13.9%, and Dallas County at 12.2%.

Alabama's rate has been declining each month since hitting 10 percent in July. The state's rate was below the national rate of 8.1 percent.

State Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees said hiring in the automotive and tourism sectors have helped reduce the state's unemployment rate.

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