MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama has recorded its lowest unemployment figure in more than a year.
State Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees says unemployment dropped from 10.3 percent in June to 9.7 percent in July. The last time Alabama's jobless rate was that low was April 2009.
Surtees says there are encouraging signs, including the number of people claiming unemployment benefits for the first time dropping below 2007 levels. But Alabama remains above the national average of 9.5 percent unemployment.
Counties with the lowest unemployment in July were: Shelby at 6.8 percent, Madison at 7.3 percent, and Coffee at 7.4 percent. Counties with the highest rates were: Wilcox at 21.9 percent, Greene at 19.0 percent, and Dallas at 18.3 percent.
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