Alabama's Jan. jobless rate highest since 1987

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's January unemployment rate
soared to 7.8 percent, the highest figure in more than 21 years.

Alabama last hit 7.8 percent in May 1987.

University of Alabama economic researcher Ahmad Ijaz predicts
Alabama hasn't seen the worst in unemployment. His prediction for
the possible peak: 8.5 percent.

Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees announced today the
state's jobless rate jumped from December's rate of 6.5 percent.
The January 2009 rate was double the state's jobless figure a year
ago.

Surtees said the number of jobless in January grew by 40,700 and
pushed the total number of Alabamians out of work to 167,774
Alabamians.

The national unemployment rate was 7.6 percent.


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