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Jobless numbers improve in April

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Roane County’s employment front improved slightly in April, with the jobless rate at 7.8 percent, according to statistics released late last month by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

That’s 0.3 percent lower than in March. The county’s jobless rate was at 7.3 percent a year ago, state records indicate.

The most recent numbers indicate that 25,220 workers in Roane County’s 27,370 labor force were employed during the month.

Statewide, rates decreased in 62 counties and rose in 23 counties. Jobless trends held steady in 10 of Tennessee’s 95 counties.

The state’s 8.0 percent rate was down 0.1 percent from March. The national rate, at 7.1 percent in March, fell 0.5 percent.

Middle Tennessee’s Williamson County registered the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 5.3 percent.

It was followed by Lincoln and Rutherford counties, also in Middle Tennessee, at 5.6 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively. Neighboring Knox County had the fourth-lowest rate at 6.4 percent.

Nearby Scott County continued to have the state’s highest jobless rate at 16.1 percent, a 1.2-percent decrease from March’s rate. West Tennessee’s Lauderdale County had the next-highest rate at 13.5 percent, followed by Pickett County on the Cumberland Plateau at 13.2 percent.

Unemployment rates for surrounding counties in March were Anderson, 7.7, down 0.1 percent; Cumberland, 9.5, down 0.5 percent; Knox, 6.4, up 0.2 percent; Loudon, 7.7, up 0.4 percent; McMinn, 9.2, same as in March; Meigs, 9.8, down 0.2 percent; Monroe, 10.9, same as in March; Morgan, 10.2, down 0.1 percent; and Rhea, 11.3, down 0.2 percent.