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Roane jobless rate down to 7.1% in Sept.

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Statistics released late last week indicate things are looking up on the employment front both in the area and across the country.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development reports Roane County’s unemployment rate for September continued to decrease.

The rate, at 7.1 percent, is 0.7 percent lower than in August. It’s considerably lower than in September 2011, when the county recorded a jobless rate of 8 percent.

The most recent numbers indicate that 25,970 workers in Roane County’s 27,950 labor force were employed in September.

Neighboring Monroe County was the only one of Tennessee’s 95 counties that reflected an increase in unemployment in September.

That jump, to 10.6 percent, was marginal over the August rate 10.5 percent.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate significantly dropped to 7.6 percent. The state rate in August was 8.3 percent, and in September 2011 Tennessee recorded a jobless rate of 9 percent.

The national rate also fell to 7.6 percent, a difference of 0.6 percent. The U.S. jobless rate was 8.8 percent for the same period last year.

Middle Tennessee’s Williamson and Lincoln counties recorded the state’s lowest rates at 5.2 percent. Knox County was next lowest, at 5.9 percent.

Nearby Scott County had the state’s highest jobless rate at 16.1 percent. West Tennessee’s Obion and Weakley counties had the next-highest rates, at 13.2 percent and 13.1 percent, respectively.

Unemployment rates for surrounding counties in September were Anderson, 7, down 1.1 percent; Cumberland, 8.2, down 0.7 percent; Knox, 5.9, down 0.8 percent; Loudon, 6.7, down 0.1 percent; McMinn, 9, down 0.6 percent; Meigs, 9.9, down 1 percent; Monroe, 10.6, up 0.1 percent; Morgan, 9.5, down 0.8 percent; and Rhea, 9.7, down 0.9 percent.