HUNTSVILLE — Scott County's unemployment rate remained steady again in February, declining one-tenth of a percentage point to 15.8 percent, according to figures released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.
The local jobless rate was 15.9 percent in January, and 18.1 percent in February 2013.
Despite the slight decrease, recent trends again manifested themselves in the February numbers, as Scott County's estimated work force and total employment both plunged.
According to the state's data, the local work force was estimated at 7,510 in February, down from 7,610 in January. Total employment was 6,320 in February, down from 6,400 in January. Total unemployment in Scott County was figured at 1,190 in February, down from 1,210 in January.
Scott County's unemployment rate remained the state's highest in February, but the gap between No. 1 and No.2 is shrinking. Pickett County saw its unemployment rate jump 1.2 points to 14.4 percent in February, and now has the state's second-highest jobless rate. Lauderdale County's unemployment rate is third-highest, at 12.2 percent. Seven other counties have unemployment rates between 11 percent and 11.5 percent.
Williamson County continued to feature the state's lowest unemployment rate, at 4.7 percent, followed by Lincoln and Rutherford counties, each at 5.3 percent. The unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in Moore County, and 5.6 percent in three other counties — Davidson, Wilson and Sumner.
Statewide, 20 counties besides Scott featured decreased unemployment rates in February, while 61 counties saw their jobless rates increase in February.
Among neighboring counties, most saw increased unemployment rates in February. The lone exception was Campbell County, where the unemployment rate was unchanged at 10.1 percent in February.
In Anderson and Morgan counties, the unemployment rate increased by two-tenths of a point, to 7.0 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively. Fentress County posted an increase of three-tenths of a point, to 8.3 percent. Pickett County's 1.2-point increase, meanwhile, was the state's second-largest in February, behind Franklin County's 2.2-point increase to 8.7 percent.
Among metropolitan areas, Nashville continued to show the way with a 5.6 percent unemployment rate, up from 5.3 percent in January. Knoxville's unemployment rate was 6.1 percent, up from 5.9 percent in January. Chattanooga's unemployment rate was 6.8 percent, unchanged from January. Memphis's unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.4 percent.