Alabama's unemployment rate has risen for the fourth consecutive month to 8.5 percent for August. The figure announced Friday by the state Department of Industrial Relations represents more than 183,000 unemployed people. Alabama's unemployment rate has been going up since measuring 7.2 percent in April. It was 7.4 percent in May, 7.8 percent in June and 8.3 percent in July. Alabama's unemployment rate a year ago was 9.1 percent. Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby at 5.8 percent, Coffee at 7.1 percent, and Blount, Limestone and Madison at 7.2 percent.