Job losses harsh in poor Ala. counties

SELMA, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's Black Belt is suffering some of the worst economic downturn in the nation.

In October, Wilcox County posted a 25.1 percent jobless rate, which was the second highest in the nation.

Statewide, unemployment nearly doubled from a year ago to 10.9 percent in October, the third-biggest jump among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. But new November numbers offer some hope. They show Alabama's jobless rate fell to 10.5 percent, the first month-to-month decline since September 2007.

Still, the rate remains far above the 6.2 percent unemployment posted in November 2008. And Tom Surtees, director of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations, cautioned that it's too early to call the drop a trend.
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Information from: The Birmingham News, http://www.al.com/birminghamnews

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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