Jobless rates up in Jan.

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Roane County’s 8-percent January unemployment rate may be slightly higher than reported last month, but it’s still lower than it was during the same period in 2011, according to statistics released late last week from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The state’s figures indicate the most recent posting is up 0.6 percent over December’s 7.4 percent rate.

That means 25,790 workers in the county’s 28,030 labor force were employed in January.

In January 2011, the county recorded a jobless rate at 8.6 percent, up 0.6 percent from the most recent figures.

Tennessee’s jobless rate also climbed in January to 8.1 percent, a difference of 0.6 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate is up 0.6 percent to 8.8 percent.

Statewide, 91 counties saw jobless rate increases, and three counties experienced a decrease. The rate remained unchanged in one of the state’s 95 counties.

Williamson County in Middle Tennessee had the state’s lowest rate at 5.6 percent. Neighboring Knox County’s was second lowest, at 6.2 percent. Middle Tennessee’s Lincoln County, which long had the state’s lowest jobless rate, reported 6.4 percent.

Scott County had the state’s highest jobless rate at 18.6 percent. West Tennessee’s Obion County had the second-highest rate at 16.9 percent, followed by Pickett County, on the Kentucky border on the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee, at 16.3  percent.

January rates for surrounding counties were Anderson, 7.8, up 0.5 percent; Cumberland, 10.7, up 1.1 percent; Knox, 6.2, up 0.3 percent; Loudon, 6.8, down 0.3 percent; McMinn, 10.4, up 0.6 percent; Meigs, 11.2, up 0.7 percent; Monroe, 12.0, down 0.1 percent; Morgan, 10.8, up 0.7 percent; and Rhea, 11.5, up 0.5 percent.