Alabama unemployment hits 9 percent


Alabama's unemployment rate rose to 9 percent in March, which is the highest rate in more than 22 years.

The last time Alabama hit 9.0 percent was in November 1986.

The state Department of Industrial Relations says the March rate is up from 8.4 percent in February. It compares to a national rate of 8.5 percent.

The March rate is more than double the 4.3 percent Alabama recorded a year ago. The March rate represents more than 193,000 unemployed Alabamians.

Alabama's rate is lower than its neighbors. Georgia is at 9.2 percent, Mississippi at 9.4 percent, Tennessee at 9.6 percent, and Florida at 9.7 percent.

The department says the counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox at 22.5 percent, Dallas and Chambers at 18.1 percent, and Lowndes at 17.6 percent. The counties with the lowest rates are Shelby at 6.3 percent, Madison at 6.5 percent and Coffee at 7.1 percent.

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