Alabama's unemployment rate dropped in September after climbing for the four previous months.
Gov. Robert Bentley said Friday that Alabama's rate fell from 8.5 percent in August to 8.3 percent in September. That's below last year's rate of 8.8 percent.
The September figure represents nearly 178,000 Alabamians looking for work. That's down from 183,000 the prior month.
Alabama's unemployment rate had been rising since measuring 7.2 percent in April, but September's figure reverses that trend. Alabama's rate remains above the national figure of 7.8 percent for September.
Counties with the lowest unemployment are Shelby at 5.2 percent, Coffee at 6.2 percent, and Lee, Limestone and Madison at 6.4 percent. The counties with the highest rates are Wilcox at 17.8 percent, Bullock County at 15.4 percent, and Dallas at 15.1 percent.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.