Still No. 2 OC’s jobless rate increases

Still No. 2 OC’s jobless rate increases

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
It’s now been six consecutive months that Obion County’s jobless rate has been ranked the second highest in the state.
The lingering impact of the local Goodyear plant closure has kept Obion County near the top of the state’s list in terms of unemployment.
The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development released its monthly jobless report Thursday afternoon, showing Obion County’s January unemployment rate was 16.9 percent.
It was in August 2011 when the county’s jobless rate spiked to 16.6 percent and the county was first ranked as having the second highest unemployment rate in the state
Obion County’s unemployment rate over the past six months has averaged 16.4 percent.
Obion County isn’t the only northwest Tennessee county on the state’s list of those counties with high unemployment. All five counties in the region experienced an increase in their jobless rates from December to January.
Elsewhere across northwest Tennessee:
• Weakley County’s January unemployment rate was 12.6 percent, up slightly from December’s 12.5 percent rate.
• Dyer County’s January unemployment rate was 12.3 percent, up from December’s 11.9 percent rate.
• Gibson County’s January unemployment rate was 12.2 percent, up from December’s 11.8 percent rate.
• Lake County’s January unemployment rate was 11.9 percent, up from December’s 10.8 percent rate.
The state’s jobless report shows the unemployment rate increased in 91 counties from December 2011 to January. The jobless rate decreased in three counties during that same period and remained unchanged in one county.
Williamson County’s 5.6 percent January jobless rate was the lowest in the state.
Tennessee’s January jobless rate fell to 8.2 percent, down from the December revised rate of 8.5 percent. The national unemployment rate for January 2011 was 8.3 percent, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the December rate.
The state’s unemployment rate is below the U.S. rate for the first time since November 2010, according to the state department.
The unemployment rate fell in 45 U.S. states in January, a sign that nearly all of the country is benefiting from an improving economy and job market, the Associated Press reported earlier this week. The Labor Department said Tuesday that only New York state reported a higher unemployment rate in January than the previous month.
Unemployment rates were unchanged in four states. Nevada had the nation’s highest unemployment rate in January, at 12.7 percent, according to AP reports.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 3.16.12

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