Jobless ranking hits 1-year mark

Jobless ranking hits 1-year mark
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
It’s now been one full year that Obion County has been ranked as having one of the highest unemployment rates in the state.
The county’s double-digit unemployment has hovered over the county like a dark cloud ever since the shutdown of the former Goodyear tire plant last summer.
Obion County’s August unemployment rate was 14 percent (second highest in the state), according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The department’s monthly jobless report was released Thursday afternoon.
Across Tennessee, the jobless rate declined from July to August in 90 counties, increased in two counties and remained unchanged in three counties. The state’s August unemployment rate was 9.3 percent and the U.S. unemployment rate for August was 9.1 percent.
The Goodyear impact has affected other counties across the region as well. Of the 10 counties in Tennessee with the highest jobless rates in August, there were four counties in West Tennessee — Weakley County with 13.4 percent unemployment, Lauderdale County with 13 percent unemployment, Dyer County with 12.1 percent unemployment and Gibson County with 11.9 percent unemployment.
For Obion County, the month-to-month jobless rates for the past 12 months were:
August 2011 —16.6 percent
September 2011 — 16.9 percent
October 2011 — 15.6 percent
November 2011 — 15.2 percent
December 2011 — 15.2 percent
January — 17.2 percent
February — 15.4 percent
March — 15.2 percent
April — 12.7 percent
May — 13.2 percent
June — 14.8 percent
July — 16 percent
August — 14 percent
Across the border in Kentucky, Fulton County has had a rough past 12 months as well.
That county’s jobless rate has been among that state’s highest since August 2011.
According to the Ken-tucky Office of Employment and Training, the Fulton County jobless rates for the past year were:
August 2011 — 18 percent
September 2011 — 17.4 percent
October 2011 — 16.1 percent
November 2011 — 14.9 percent
December 2011 — 15.8 percent
January — 17.9 percent
February — 19.4 percent
March — 17 percent
April — 20.4 percent
May — 19.9 percent
June — 17 percent
July — 15.4 percent
August — 16.7 percent
The U.S. Labor Department reported last week that unemployment rates increased in 26 states, fell in 12 states and were unchanged in 12 states.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 9.28.12

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