From AP, staff reports
Tennessee’s September unemployment rate of 9.8 percent rose slightly from the previous month.
For Obion County, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development revised it’s figures to show the county’s August jobless rate was 16.6 percent and the September rate increased to 17 percent.
The county-by-county unemployment report was released Thursday afternoon by the state department (See related graph, Page 5).
Last month the department initially reported Obion County’s August unemployment rate was 17.2 percent, the second highest in the state. In fact, of the 10 counties in Tennessee with the highest unemployment rate in August, five were from West Tennessee (Obion, Weakley, Lauderdale, Gibson and Haywood counties).
That trend continued into September.
Obion County has the second highest unemployment rate in the state for the second consecutive month and there are six West Tennessee counties listed among the 10 counties with the highest September jobless rates (Obion, Weakley, Lauderdale, Gibson, Dyer and Haywood counties)
Scott County (at 19.5 percent) had the highest unemployment rate in the state in September.
For September, Weakley County’s unemployment rate was 15.2 percent, Lake County’s unemployment rate was 12.2 percent, Gibson County’s unemployment rate was 13.7 percent and Dyer County’s unemployment rate was 13.7 percent.
Obion County’s 17 percent unemployment rate for August translates to 2,650 people out of work in the county. The county’s total labor force is 15,580, according to the state department.
The August jobless rate was 9.7 percent for Tennessee. The national unemployment rate for September was 9.1 percent, unchanged from August.
State Labor Commissioner Karla Davis says there were seasonal increases in areas such as education but at the same time losses in leisure and hospitality.
University of Tennessee economist Bill Fox says there are positive indicators despite the rise, such as an increase in durable goods manufacturing during the month.
According to a survey of businesses, monthly employment increases came in local government, up 19,500 jobs; educational and health services, 3,400; and durable goods manufacturing, 1,400.
From August to September, leisure and hospitality decreased by 5,500 jobs; administrative, support and waste services fell 1,000; and merchant wholesalers of nondurable goods declined by 700 jobs.
Published in The Messenger 10.28.11