October’s unemployment rate held a mixed bag for the area, with the number of jobless falling in Colbert, Franklin and Lawrence counties while rising slightly in Lauderdale.
The October rate in Lauderdale county was 7 percent, up from 6.9 percent in September. Other local rates were 7.8 percent in Colbert compared to 7.9 percent in September, 8.7 percent in Franklin compared to 9.1 percent in September and 8.1 percent in Lawrence compared to 8.2 percent in September.
In an encouraging sign, the Florence/Muscle Shoals Metro Area added 600 manufacturing jobs and 600 service jobs.
Alabama’s unemployment rate declined for the second month to 8.1 percent.
The state Department of Industrial Relations said Alabama’s October rate is down from a revised rate of 8.2 percent in September. Alabama’s unemployment rate increased for four months during the late spring and summer, hitting 8.5 percent in August before declining for the last two months.
Nearly 9,000 more Alabama residents were working in October than in the prior month.
Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby at 5.4 percent, Coffee and Madison at 6.6 percent, and Lee and St. Clair at 6.7 percent. Counties with the highest rates were Wilcox at 17.6 percent, Bullock at 16.2 percent and Dallas at 14.8 percent.