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OC’s jobless rate ranks 2nd in state

OC’s jobless rate ranks 2nd in state

Tennessee’s county-by-county unemployment figures were released Thursday and show Obion County as having the second highest jobless rate in the state last month — 17.2 percent.
The local unemployment rate means 2,590 county residents are jobless. The county has a labor force of 15,060, according to the state report.
Scott County, northwest of Knoxville, had the highest August unemployment rate in the state at 19.7 percent, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The unemployment report reveals the direct impact of the recent Goodyear plant closure in Union City.
Of the 10 counties in the state with the highest unemployment rates in August, four counties are located in the northwest Tennessee region.
Ranked third in the state is Weakley County with a 15.2 percent August jobless rate. Other counties in the area with high unemployment rates for August include Lauderdale County (14.4 percent) and Gibson County (13.9 percent).
The lowest unemployment rate in the state for August belongs to Wilson County (6.4 percent). Tennessee’s unemployment rate dropped from 9.8 percent in July to 9.7 percent in August. The national jobless rate from July to August remained unchanged at 9.1 percent.
The state jobless report shows the Union City and the Obion County Micropolitan Areas also had 17.2 percent unemployment for the month. A Micropolitan Statistical Area is a designation given to a county or group of counties with an urbanized population of 10,000-50,000.
August marks the fourth consecutive month the unemployment rate has increased in Obion County.
The county traditionally has the lowest unemployment rate in the region, but the recent shutdown of the local Goodyear plant had a significant impact on unemployment in Obion County and across the region.
Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire told The Messenger the spike in unemployment has been anticipated and he and other local officials are focused on projects designed to help the county rebound from the loss of Goodyear.
Work continues on the development of I-69, the Cates Landing project in Lake County and the recruitment of new industrial investment in Obion County, according to McGuire.

Published in The Messenger 9.23.11

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