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Jobless front better in Feb.

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Roane County’s unemployment rate fell in February, but it was narrowly higher than in 2012, statistics from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development show.
The rate, at 7.9 percent, is 0.2 percent lower than in January. Last February, the county’s jobless rate was at 7.8 percent, state records indicate.
The most recent numbers indicate that 25,120 workers in Roane County’s 27,290 labor force were employed during the month.
Statewide, 87 counties experienced a decrease over the month. Five counties recorded an increase, and jobless trends held steady in three of Tennessee’s 95 counties.
The state’s 8.2 percent rate decreased by 0.3 percent from January. The national rate, at 8.1 percent in February, fell 0.4 percent.
Middle Tennessee counties led the way in the state’s lowest unemployment rates. Williamson County’s was lowest at 5.3 percent, followed by Lincoln County at 6.1 percent and Rutherford County at 6.2 percent.
Nearby Scott County had the state’s highest jobless rate at 17.4 percent. West Tennessee’s Lauderdale County had the next-highest rate at 13.8 percent, followed by  Pickett County on the Cumberland Plateau at 13.1 percent.
Unemployment rates for surrounding counties in February were Anderson, 7.4, down 0.3 percent; Cumberland, 10.2, down 0.5 percent; Knox, 6.4, down 0.1 percent; Loudon, 6.9, down 0.1 percent; McMinn, 9.4, down 0.2 percent; Meigs, 10.2, down 0.4 percent; Monroe, 10.9, down 0.2 percent; Morgan, 9.5, down 0.8 percent; and Rhea, 9.7, down 0.9 percent.