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Alabama jobless rate down to 7.5% as economy reopens

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.5% as the economy recovers during a worsening coronavirus threat. 

State statistics show the jobless rate for June was down substantially from April, when it hit 12.9% as almost 217,000 lost their jobs as businesses closed or cut back because of the pandemic. But some 165,700 people are still out of work. And Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington says initial unemployment claims filed each week are on the rise.

The jobless rate has fallen below 5% in counties including Clay, Cullman, Marshall and Shelby. But it remains in the teens in the rural west Alabama counties of Lowndes, Perry and Wilcox.

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