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State, county jobless rates jump

Alabama’s unemployment rate jumped half a percentage point in July, hitting 8.3 percent, according to the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations.

In Butler County, the rate rose from 12.7 percent in June to 13.2 percent in July.

But DIR Director Tom Surtees said Friday that an increasing unemployment rate is common in July.

“We see more partial claims in July and December than any other month,” he said. “Last month was no exception.”

Partial unemployment claims, which are claims that are filed by workers who have been laid off, but for a specified time of less than three weeks, increased in July to 9,259, up significantly from the 2,570 and 3,181 recorded in May and June, respectively.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are Shelby County at 6 percent, Blount County at 7.4 percent and Coffee County at 7.5 percent.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are Wilcox County at 19.6 percent, Dallas County at 17.8 percent and Lowndes County at 16.7 percent.