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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s unemployment rate for September was 3.1%, unchanged from August but less than half of what it was at the same time last year during the pandemic.

The Alabama Department of Labor says the jobless rate for September represented 68,544 people without work statewide compared to 147,334 in September 2020.

The agency says industries that were hard-hit by the pandemic are making gains, including the leisure and hospitality sector.

Shelby County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 1.8%, followed by Cullman County north of Birmingham at 2%. Wilcox County in rural western Alabama had the state’s highest jobless rate, 9.8%.