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OC remains No. 2 in state jobless rate

OC remains No. 2 in state jobless rate

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Sixteen months and coun-ting.
Northwest Tennessee continues to suffer from high unemployment, with Obion County’s 12.3 percent jobless rate leading the way, as it has for the past 16 months.
In the month of Novem-ber, there were 1,620 people unemployed in Obion County.
The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development released its November unemployment report Thursday afternoon, and once again Obion County is ranked as having the second highest unemployment rate in the state. Scott County’s 15.3 November unemployment rate was the highest in Tennessee.
The last time Obion County’s unemployment rate was below 10 percent was in April 2011. The county’s jobless rate has been among the highest in the state since the shutdown of the Union City Goodyear plant in mid-July 2011, and it peaked at 17.2 percent in January.
The rate jumped from 11.4 percent in July 2011 to 16.6 percent in August 2011.
Over the course of the past 16 months, the rate has averaged 14.8 percent  and, nine out of those 16 months, the rate has been above 15 percent.
Obion County’s Novem-ber unemployment rate was 3.5 percent lower than the November 2011  rate, according to the state department.
Of the 10 counties in the state with the highest November unemployment rates, West Tennessee had five counties on the list — Obion, Lauderdale, Weakley, Dyer and Gibson counties.
By the numbers, the November unemployment rate for the other four counties in northwest Tennessee are:
• Lake County — 9.1 percent unemployment, down from 10.1 unemployment in October. There were 250 people unemployed in the county last month. The county’s November 2011 unemployment rate was 10.8 percent.
• Weakley County — 10.9 percent unemployment, down from 12.5 unemployment in October. There were 1,650 people unemployed in the county last month. The county’s November 2011 unemployment rate was 12.4 percent.
• Dyer County — 10.6 percent unemployment, down from 11.8 unemployment in October. There were 1,810 people unemployed in the county last month. The county’s November 2011 unemployment rate was 12.1 percent.
• Gibson County — 10.3 percent unemployment, down from 11.5 unemployment in October. There were 2,190 people unemployed in the county last month. The county’s November 2011 unemployment rate was 11.9 percent.
Across Tennessee, the unemployment rate from October to November decreased in 91 counties, increased in one county and remained unchanged in three counties, according to the state report.
Williamson County in Middle Tennessee had the state’s lowest November unemployment rate — 4.4 percent. Of the 10 counties in Tennessee with the lowest November unemployment rates, all are located in Middle and East Tennessee.
As a state, the November unemployment rate was 7.6 percent, down from 8.2 percent in October and just below the national rate of 7.7 percent. That translates to 236,000 people unemployed in Tennessee in November (seasonally adjusted).
Across the state line, Fulton County, Ky., held on to its rank of having the second highest unemployment rate in Kentucky, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training. The state agency released its November jobless report earlier this week, showing Fulton County with a 15 percent unemployment rate.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 12.28.12

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