Scott County’s unemployment rate spiked 1.5 points in December, climbing from 15.3 percent to 16.8 percent, according to numbers released last week by the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

The local increase followed a statewide trend that saw unemployment rates increase in 93 of 95 counties.

The estimated labor force in Scott County in December was 8,170, up slightly from November’s estimated labor force of 8,110.

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Total employment declined from 6,870 to 6,790, a loss of 80 jobs, while unemployment increased from 1,240 to 1,370.

The unemployment rate remained below December 2011’s jobless rate of 18.5 percent.

Among neighboring counties, Anderson County saw its unemployment rate climb from 6.3 percent to 6.9 percent; Campbell County’s jobless rate jumped from 9.2 percent to 10.2 percent; Fentress County experienced a jump from 8.3 percent to 9.2 percent; Morgan County’s jobless rate was up to 9.8 percent from 8.8 percent; and Pickett County’s unemployment rate spiked from 11.2 percent to 12.7 percent.

Scott County’s unemployment rate remained the state’s highest, ahead of Obion and Lauderdale counties, each of which posted 13.1 percent unemployment rates in December. Pickett County (12.7 percent) and Perry County (11.8 percent) rounded out the top five.

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