Unemployment drops slightly here to 14.7%

Friday, April 3, 2009

While Marshall County's unemployment rate dropped from January to February, the rate is still among the highest in Tennessee.

The most recent figures available show that from a workforce of 12,670 people, there were 1,870 unemployed during February, resulting in an unemployment rate of 14.7 percent.

That's down from the revised rate of 15.5 percent for January, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The unemployment rate here was 9.9 percent in December, revealing an increase of 5.6 percentage points from December to January.

Those double digit rates rates are the highest for Marshall County in at least 10 years, according to a review of state figures on the Internet. In fact, during the last 10 years of monthly figures, the county's unemployment rate hit or exceeded 10 percent only in January last year and then during six of the seven months of January through July in 2003.

Nearby, Maury County saw unemployment drop from 15.6 percent in January to 11.6 percent in February. Bedford County's rate increased from 9.7 to 10.8 percent. Lincoln's was the second lowest in the state at 7 percent in February, up from 6.6 percent in January.

In February, Perry County had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 24.1 percent. The lowest in the state was Williamson at 6.2 percent.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in February, up from 8.6 percent in January. The national unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in February, up from 7.6 percent.

The highest statewide unemployment rate was 12.4 percent in December 1982 The state's rate has not been 9.1 percent since July 1984.

"Beyond health care and a slight increase in education, we're seeing decreases in (employment) in all sectors of employment," according to Jeff Hentschel, spokesman for the state labor department.