Marshall's unemployment rate drops again, remains second highest in state

Friday, June 25, 2010

NASHVILLE -- Marshall County's unemployment rate went down again, according to month after month figures released Thursday, but the rate remained second highest in the state.

Marshall County's unemployment rate was 16.7 percent in May, down from 17.3 percent in April. Scott County had the state's highest unemployment rate at 19.8 percent, down from 20.2 percent.

The rate in Marshall County has been as high as 20.3 percent this year. The figures are from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

For three months in a row, Marshall's unemployment rate was the highest in the state. As a result, Gov. Phil Bredesen appropriated $3 million of federl economic stimulus money for a jobs program managed from the Career Center at Columbia State Community College on South Ellington Parkway. Three job fairs have been conducted. The stimulus money pays wages and benefits for workers hired by local government and businesses. That funding continues through September. The Tennessee Department of Transportation opened 50 jobs to county residents.

Tennessee's unemployment rate for May was 10.4 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the April rate of 10.5 percent. The national unemployment rate for May 2010 was 9.7 percent.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for May 2010, released Thursday, show that the rate decreased in 86 counties, increased in seven counties and remained the same in two counties.

Lincoln County registered the state's lowest county unemployment rate at 6.6 percent, down from 7.1 percent in April. Lincoln has had the lowest unemployment rate for months. Its proximity to Huntsville and the still-growing space industry have been reported as reasons for Lincoln County's low unemployment rate. Several years ago, Williamson County had maintained the lowest unemployment rate.

Other counties around Marshall had the following unemployment rate changes from May to April: Bedford, 12.2 percent to 12.1 percent; Maury, 15.3 percent to 15.1 percent; Giles, 14.2 percent to 13.5 percent; and Rutherford, 9.5 percent to 9.2 percent.

Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 7.7 percent, down from 8.2 percent in April. Davidson County was 8.9 percent, unchanged from the April rate. Hamilton County was at 8.6 percent, down from 9.0 in April, and Shelby County was 10.0 percent, down from 10.2 in April.