Alabama's unemployment rate inched upward in December to 5.4 percent. In November the rate was 5.2 percent.
The Alabama Department of Industrial Relations said the figure represents approximately 117,800 unemployed Alabamians.
Phyllis Kennedy, the agency's director, said despite the slightly higher numbers the state's overall jobless rate improved in 2004 as compared to 2003.
Nationally, the unemployment rate in December was also 5.4 percent.
Counties in west Alabama continue to record double-digit unemployment. Wilcox County's 15.2 percent was the highest among the 67 counties. Shelby County's jobless rate was the lowest at two percent.