- Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2015

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama’s unemployment rate is on the rise again, but just a little.

The state jobless rate announced Friday for July was 6.2 percent, or one-tenth of a percentage point higher than the rate for May and June.

Last month’s rate was lower than the rate for July 2014, when Alabama unemployment was 7 percent. But Alabama’s jobless rate remains well above the national unemployment rate of 5.3 percent.

State Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington said the July rate was virtually unchanged from June because of seasonal effects.

“It is not uncommon to see stagnant or increased unemployment rates during the summer months, as many education employees remain out of work,” he said.

Gov. Robert Bentley said employment has increased by more than 30,000 jobs since the beginning of the year to 1.95 million and is at its highest for this time of year since the recession began in 2008.

Shelby County in metro Birmingham has the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 4.6 percent. Wilcox County in southwestern Alabama is worst with a jobless rate of 16.2 percent.

Unemployment rates fell in 24 U.S. states last month, rose in 14 states and were unchanged in 12. Employers added jobs in 34 states and cut them in 16.

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