Alabama's unemployment rate has dropped to 6.3 percent, but it remains above the national average.
Gov. Robert Bentley announced Friday that Alabama's rate declined from 6.6 percent in September to 6.3 percent in October. That's the same rate Alabama recorded a year ago. The October rate is higher than the national figure of 5.8 percent.
Bentley says Alabama is seeing healthy growth in jobs and is seeing a decline in the amount of unemployment benefits being paid.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said that the state is continuing to talk with International Paper about the future of its Lawrence County facility. However, company officials haven't indicated that there's anything the state can do to keep the 1,100-employee plant open.
International Paper announced last week that it will close the north Alabama mill because of declining demand, a move that will affect more than 1,100 jobs in the Tennessee Valley.
The Memphis, Tenn.-based company said the plant in Courtland will shut down by early 2014.
International Paper says it is closing a mill in north Alabama, a move that will affect 1,100 jobs. The Memphis, Tenn.-based, company said Wednesday the plant in Courtland will shut down by early 2014.
The mill makes a type of paper that's used in magazines, forms, copiers and printers. International Paper says demand is down as customers switch to online publications and electronic billing and record-keeping.
International Paper spokesman Tim Nicholls says in a statement the company looked at different options for the plant. But it decided a permanent shutdown was best.
State officials say they're working with educators and business owners to address a gap between students and a shortage of workers for in-demand job markets in the state.
Director of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, Gregory Fitch, tells the Montgomery Advertiser (http://on.mgmadv.com/16Yr9Wn ) technical and industrial fields ranging from trucking to engineering and welding are seeing a shortage of qualified workers in Alabama because they're careers that students no longer consider as options.
Last year new and expanding industries announced plans to create more than 20,000 jobs with investments topping $5.4 billion in Alabama.
But those numbers did not include a single new job or investment in almost a dozen of Alabama's 67 counties.
Three-quarters of that investment and two-thirds of the jobs are slated for the state's 15 urban counties, defined as those with cities that have populations of 25,000 people or more, al.com reported. The rest of the new jobs was split among 41 rural counties and the 11 that ended up empty-handed are also all considered rural.