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Unemployment in state rises slightly

Gov. Robert Bentley has announced that Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally-adjusted November unemployment rate is 6 percent.

Franklin County’s rate came in at 5.9 percent.

“We are coming closer and closer to hitting that golden wage and salary employment number of two million jobs,” Bentley said.  “We are less than 25,000 jobs shy of attaining pre-recession employment levels in Alabama.”

“The very slight uptick in November’s unemployment rate is due to the fact that more people entered the workforce, perhaps looking for seasonal employment,” Alabama Labor Department Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said.  “Additionally, more people are employed both over the month and over the year, so this small increase is not necessarily bad news.”

The state’s Civilian Labor Force increased in November to 2,146,294 from 2,141,221in October and from 2,130,131 in November 2014 (seasonally adjusted).

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 4.0 percent, Lee County at 4.7 percent and Elmore, Cullman, and St. Clair counties at 4.8 percent.

In Northwest Alabama, Franklin can claim the lowest employment, with surrounding counties coming in at 6.2 percent (Lauderdale), 6.6 percent (Marion), 6.9 percent (Winston), 7.1 percent (Lawrence) and 7.2 percent (Colbert).