MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Alabama's unemployment rate has risen to 6.5 percent, but the state still has one of the lowest rates in the Southeast.
The state Department of Labor announced two months' worth of unemployment figures Friday because the September numbers were delayed by the partial shutdown of the federal government in October.
The department said the state's unemployment rate rose from a revised rate of 6.2 percent in August to 6.4 percent in September and 6.5 percent in October.
"Thousands of Alabamians were out of work in October due to the shutdown" and it affected the unemployment rate, State Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said.
He said Alabama has about 40,000 federal workers and nearly 2,000 filed unemployment compensation claims during the shutdown.
The state had an increase in unemployment of more than 3,700 people from August to October.
Alabama's unemployment rate for October was below the state's rate a year ago of 7.1 percent, and it was below the national rate for October of 7.3 percent.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday that Alabama was one of 11 states that had unemployment rise in October, but its rate is tied for second lowest in the Southeast. Virginia measured 5.6 percent unemployment, while Louisiana tied Alabama at 6.5 percent. Among Alabama's neighboring states, Florida had 6.7 percent, Georgia 8.1 percent, Tennessee 8.4 percent, and Mississippi 8.5 percent.
Alabama counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby at 4.3 percent, Lee at 5.1 percent and Cherokee at 5.4 percent. Counties with the highest rates were Wilcox at 15.5 percent, Bullock at 13.2 percent and Dallas at 13.0 percent.
Among Alabama's cities, the Department of Labor said the rates ranged from 3.7 percent in Vestavia Hills to 12.6 percent in Selma. Huntsville measured 5.7 percent, Montgomery 6.9 percent, Birmingham 7.6 percent, and Mobile 7.7 percent.