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Jobless rate still second in state

Jobless rate still second in state

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
On the heels of an announcement of 44 layoffs at Union City’s Midwest-CBK plant, the state has released its monthly jobless report showing Obion County with the second highest unemployment rate in the state — again.
The state released its county-by-county jobless statistics Thursday afternoon, showing Obion County with a 13.1 percent December 2012 unemployment rate. Scott County’s 16.8 December unemployment rate was the highest in the state.
December marks the 17th consecutive month Obion County has been ranked as having among the state’s highest unemployment rates. There is a slight glimmer of good news in the state’s jobless report — Obion County’s jobless rate has remained under 14 percent for the past four months.
Obion County’s unemployment rate spiked to 16.6 percent in August 2011 with the shutdown of the local Goodyear plant and has remained at historically high levels ever since. The county’s 12.3 percent unemployment rate in November 2012 was the lowest it has been since before the impact of the Goodyear shutdown.
The local unemployment rate translates to 1,740 Obion Countians out of work in December.
Elsewhere in northwest Tennessee, the December jobless rates were:
• In Weakley County — 11.6 percent. The December unemployment rate translates to 1,780 people out of work in the county.
• In Lake County — 10.8 percent. The December unemployment rate translates to 300 people out of work in the county.
• In Dyer County — 11.6 percent. The December unemployment rate translates to 2,010 people out of work in the county.
• In Gibson County — 11.3 percent. The December unemployment rate translates to 2,420 people out of work in the county.
The list of the 10 counties in Tennessee with the highest unemployment rates in December includes seven counties from West Tennessee — Obion, Lauderdale, Dyer, Weakley, Gibson, Carroll and Haywood counties.
Williamson County’s 5 percent December unemployment rate was the lowest in the state. The list of the 10 counties in Tennessee with the lowest unemployment rates in December includes seven counties from Middle Tennessee and three counties from East Tennessee. In fact, six of the 10 counties with the state’s lowest unemployment rates in December are located in the Nashville region.
The state’s unemployment rate increased in 93 counties from November to December and decreased in two counties.
Tennessee’s unemployment rate for December 2012 was 7.6 percent and remained constant from the November revised rate of 7.6 percent.
The national unemployment rate for December 2012 was 7.8 percent, also unchanged from the previous month, according to a news release from state Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development Karla Davis. In her report, the numbers reveal December’s unemployment rate is the state’s lowest since October 2008.
Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent in December 2012 from a revised 8.2 percent in November 2012, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training. Fulton County in southwest Kentucky was ranked as having the commonwealth’s second highest unemployment rate in December — 15.8 percent.
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Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden @ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 1.25.13

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