Alabama unemployment numbers for December 2009

The Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees announced the unemployment numbers for the month of December.

The unemployment rate rose from 10.5%, in the month of November, to 11.0% for December. This percentage represents 225,596 unemployed persons in the state. Wage and salary employment declined by 9,300 with losses occurring in the following sectors: professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, construction, educational and health services, government, financial activities, and manufacturing. Gains occurred in the trade, transportation and utilities, other services, natural resources and mining, and information.

"Although we became a little hopeful du to last month's unemployment decrease, I think we all realize the reality of the economic situation in this country," said Surtees.

"We are continuing to see Alabamians suffer from the recession and remain committed to serving them. During the 2009, we distributed benefits exceeding $1.2 billion and will continue to assist the unemployed with all of the state and federal resources at our disposal," he adds.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates were as follows: Shelby at 7.6%, Madison at 7.7%, and Coffee at 8.1%.

Counties with the highest rates were: Dallas at 20.1%, Monroe at 20.2%, and Wilcox at 24.5%.

The preliminary unemployment rate for Alabama in 2009 was 9.8%. Annual job loss in Alabama were in manufacturing, construction, trade, transportation and utilities, professional and business services, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, information, other services, and natural resources and mining.

The only annual gains were recorded in education, health services and government.