Roane jobless rate steady at 7.8 percent

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Roane County’s unemployment rate held steady in August at 7.8 percent, according to statistics released late last week from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The state’s figures indicate that the rate, unchanged from July’s showings, is down significantly from a year ago.

In August 2009, the state reported Roane County had a 9.5 unemployment rate.

The latest figures also indicate Roane County has the fifth-lowest rate in the state.

Statistics show 26,090 workers in the county’s 28,280 labor force were employed last month.

Roane County’s rate for August is substantially lower than the overall state rate for August. Tennessee’s unemployment rate, at 9.6 percent, was is down 0.1 percent from the July figures.

The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 9.6 percent, an increase of 0.1 percent.

Statewide, 33 counties saw jobless rate increases, and 46 counties experienced a decrease.

Unemployment rates remained unchanged for 16 of the state’s 95 counties.

Lincoln County in Middle Tennessee maintained its longtime hold on the state’s lowest rate at 6.4 percent. It was followed by Williamson County, also in Middle Tennessee, at 7 percent.

Nearby Blount County snagged the third-lowest rate at 7.5 percent, with neighboring Knox County registering the fourth-lowest rate at 7.6 percent.

Scott County had the state’s highest rate at 19.8 percent. Middle Tennessee’s Marshall County, at 16 percent, had the second-highest rate.

Unemployment rates for surrounding counties in August were Anderson, 8.8, up 0.2 percent; Cumberland, 9.9, down 0.2 percent; Loudon, 7.9, unchanged; McMinn, 11.8, unchanged; Meigs, 12.3, up 0.3 percent; Monroe, 12.6, down 0.3 percent; Morgan, 11, up 0.1 percent; and Rhea, 12.5, unchanged.

The Knoxville Combined Metropolitan Statistical Area had the lowest unemployment rate in its category at 8.5 percent, an increase over July’s 8.4 percent.

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