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Jobless rate up, Roane reclaims state’s 4th lowest

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Roane County was among 85 of Tennessee’s 95 counties that experienced a surge in its unemployment rate for
November, according to statistics released late last month by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

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Though the county’s 7.6-percent November rate was marginally higher than October’s 7.3 percent, Roane County reclaimed its No. 4 spot among counties with the lowest-ranking unemployment figures across the state.

The consistent placement of Roane County among those top five counties makes it one of Tennessee’s powerhouse counties on the jobless scale.

Middle Tennessee’s Lincoln County has held on to the No. 1 post for more than a year, boasting a November jobless rate of 6.3 percent.

That’s followed by Williamson County, also in Middle Tennessee, with 6.8 percent, and neighboring Knox County, registering 7.2 percent.

Roane County’s figures mean that 25,940 of the county’s 28,080-strong workforce was employed in November.

Jobless rates statewide and nationwide rose by 0.3 percent in November, with Tennessee weighing in at 9.4 percent and the U.S. rate at 9.3 percent.

Statewide, eight counties experienced a decrease, and rates remained unchanged for two counties.

Nearby Scott County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 19.9 percent.

Marshall County in Middle Tennessee reflected the next highest rate at 16.2 percent.

Pickett County, which lies on the Kentucky border on the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee, had the state’s third-highest rate at 15.5 percent.

Unemployment rates for surrounding counties in November were Anderson, 8.6, up 0.2 percent; Cumberland, 10.3, up 1 percent; Knox, 7.2, up 0.2 percent; Loudon, 8.2, up 0.7 percent; McMinn, 12.1, up 0.6 percent; Meigs, 12.4, up 0.7 percent; Monroe, 12.9, up 0.6 percent; Morgan, 10.3, down 0.2 percent; and Rhea, 12.3, up 0.3 percent.

The Knoxville Combined Metropolitan Statistical Area had the lowest unemployment rate in its category at 7.5 percent, an increase over October’s 7.2 percent.

The area is comprised of Knoxville, Roane County, Campbell County, Morristown, Cocke and Sevier counties.

Thirty-seven counties registered a rate greater than 5 percent but lower than 10 percent.

The jobless rate was 10 percent or greater in 58 counties, with no counties recording a rate at 20 percent or greater.