MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama’s unemployment rate is down to 4.2 percent, putting the state’s rate below the national jobless rate for the first time in nearly four years.

The governor’s office says Alabama’s unemployment rate dipped three-tenths of a percent in August from the July rate of 4.5 percent.

The improvement means Alabama’s employment picture is slightly better than the nation’s overall. The state’s rate is two-tenths of a percent better than the national unemployment rate of 4.4 percent in August.

The last time Alabama’s jobless rate was better than the national rate was in October 2013.

The August number represents 90,913 unemployed people in Alabama.

Unemployment is lowest at 3.2 percent in Shelby County, located just south of Birmingham. It’s worst at 11.3 percent in Wilcox County, located in rural western Alabama.

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