Alabama jobless rate jumps to 6.2 percent

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama’s unemployment rate is up to 6.2 percent.

Statistics released by the state on Friday say the December jobless rate increased three-tenths of a percent from 5.9 percent in November.

The rate is better than the state’s December 2015 rate by one-tenths of a percent. But unemployment in Alabama is still worse than the national rate of 4.7 percent, which was also up slightly.

State Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington says the December rate increased because the state labor force grew by 9,000 jobs in one month. He says that’s the largest it has been in more than five years and signals confidence in the job market.

Shelby County has the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 4.3 percent, and Wilcox County is worst at 15.6 percent.

In Mobile County, the unemployment rate rose to 7.1-percent from 6.7-percent in November. Across the bay in Baldwin County, the rate also rose to 5.6-percent from 5.2-percent last month.

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