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Jobless rate down again

For the fifth straight month, Pike County’s unemployment rate has fallen.

November’s rate dropped to 8.2 percent, which is down from 8.6 percent in October.

The county sits at fourth lowest in the state, with only Shelby, Madison and Coffee having lower rates at 7.3 percent, 7.3 percent and 7.8 percent, respectfully.

Counties with the highest rates were: Wilcox at 24.3 percent, Monroe at 21.1 percent and Dallas at 20.3 percent.

“I was pleased to see we’re the fourth lowest in the state,” said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford. “There are only three counties lower than Pike County.”

Not only did the county see a decrease, Alabama as a whole saw a decrease for the first time since September 2007.

November’s unemployment rate dropped to 10.5 percent after hitting 10.9 percent in October.

Likewise, the nation saw a similar decline falling from 10.2 percent to 10 percent in November.

Alabama was one of 36 states that had declines and dropped from 11th to 12th among states in unemployment after peaking out at 10th in September.

“We are certainly glad to see a drop in the unemployment rate, but we need to keep in mind that a one month drop is not a trend,” said state Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees. “I also want to take this opportunity to remind everyone about the services to assist the unemployed and underemployed that are available at our area Career Centers throughout the state.

A complete listing of the Career Centers in Alabama is available at www.dir.alabama.gov or at www.joblink.alabama.gov.

Alabama’s 10.5 percent rate for November was up drastically from 6.2 percent a year ago.

At that point, Alabama was weathering the recession better than the nation as a whole, but that changed during the year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that Alabama tied Florida and Nevada for the second biggest increase over the year at 4.3 percentage points.

Michigan led the nation at 5.1 percentage points.

*The AP contributed to this article.