MONTGOMERY — Alabama's unemployment rate hit 12.9% in April, the Department of Labor announced Friday.

In the Shoals area, Lauderdale County was at 14.6%, Colbert County was at 16.5% and Franklin County's rate was at 11.3%.

April's rate is the first full monthly measure that incorporates the true extent of the job losses occurring due to the coronavirus pandemic.

March's unemployment rate was 3.0%.

Late last week the department also announced that more than 500,000 initial unemployment claims had been filed from March 8 to May 16. This week, the state also announced it has disbursed more than $1 billion in COVID-19 related unemployment compensation benefits.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates are: Geneva County at 8.1%, Bullock, and Pike counties at 9.1%, and Shelby and Henry counties at 9.2%.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates are: Lowndes County at 26.0%, Wilcox County at 22.8%, and Greene County at 22.2%.

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