Marshall County's unemployment rate went up by one half of one percent from 14.7 percent in May to 15.2 percent in June, according to figures released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
These most recent figures, however, reveal a drop in unemployment during the 12 months since June 2010 when the county's rate was 16 percent. That reflects a 12-month increase in employment of eight-tenths of one percent (0.8 percent), the state report shows.
For nearly a year, Marshall County had the highest, or second highest unemployment rate in the state, topping out at 20.3 percent, subsequent to Sanford's announcement that it would close its pencil factory in Lewisburg.
Now, Marshall County has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the state, but it's tied, statistically, with Perry County, as both have 15.2 percent of their work forces unemployed. Scott has the highest rate at 20.9. Lauderdale and Haywood counties are second and third highest at 15.7 percent and 15.6 percent, respectively.
Again, neighboring Lincoln County has the lowest unemployment rate in the state. It's unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in June, or 0.4 percentage points better than Williamson County, one of the most affluent counties in the state, where, during June, the unemployment rate was 7.2 percent.
During June, Marshall County had a workforce of 12,440 people. Of those, 10,540 had a job and 1,900 were unemployed.
Meanwhile, to the east in Bedford County, the unemployment rate increased by 1.1 percent to 12 percent. Bedford had an estimated total of 2,820 persons without a job out of a workforce of 23,550, with 20,740 employed last month.
West of Marshall County, the unemployment rate was 13.9 percent in June, up 0.8 percentage points from 13.1 percent in May. Maury County's rate declined during the 12-month period from 14.5 percent in June 2010. The decrease is 0.6 percentage points.
Giles County's rate went from 11.3 percent in May to 12.2 percent in June. Davidson County's rate went from 8.5 to 9.1. Rutherford's went from 8.6 to 9.2.
Tennessee's unemployment rate for June was 9.8 percent, up slightly from the May revised rate of 9.7 percent, while the national unemployment rate for June was 9.2 percent, up from the May revised rate of 9.1 percent.
"The decline in employment combined with a slight expansion in the labor force explains the higher unemployment rate," Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development Karla Davis said. "This is the third month in a row in which the unemployment rate has slightly increased."
According to the household survey conducted by the Labor and Workforce Development department, the number of employed Tennesseans decreased by 3,200 from May to June, while the civilian labor force increased by 1,800, and at 3,143,900 is the highest on record.
"The increase in employment levels over the last 12 months is still positive with more than 74,000 jobs gained," Davis said. "This growth rate of 2.7 percent is much higher than the national employment picture which only grew 0.2 percent from June 2010 to June 2011."