Scott County’s unemployment rate dropped to a four-year low in November, according to data released last week by the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development.
According to the state’s figures, Scott County’s non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in November was 15.3 percent, reaching levels not seen since October 2008, when the local unemployment rate jumped from 13.2 percent to 15.5 percent in a single month.
Prior to November, the 48-month low water mark for unemployment was in April 2012, when the jobless rate briefly dropped to 15.4 percent.
Total employment in Scott County dropped by 70 jobs – from 6,940 to 6,870 – between October and November, but remained above levels seen from May to September.
Believed to be at least partially due to unemployment benefits expiring for Scott County Hospital employees who lost their jobs with the May 24, 2012, closure of the facility, the total work force and total unemployed dropped to seven-month lows in November.
The total estimated work force in Scott County was 8,110 – down from 8,300 in October. The total number of unemployed workers was 1,240 – down from 1,370 in October.
Statewide, the unemployment rate in November decreased in 91 counties and increased in just one.
Despite the declining unemployment rate, Scott remained tops in the state for joblessness, ahead of Obion County’s 12.3 percent unemployment rate. Also in the Top Five for unemployment were Lauderdale (11.8 percent), Pickett (11.2 percent) and Weakley (10.9 percent) counties.
Williamson County posted the state’s lowest unemployment rate, at 4.4 percent. Also in the Top Five were Lincoln (4.8 percent), Knox (5.2 percent), Blount (5.2 percent) and Rutherford (5.3 percent) counties.
In counties surrounding Scott, Anderson County’s unemployment rate decreased from 7.2 percent to 6.3 percent, while Campbell County’s unemployment rate decreased from 10.3 percent to 9.2 percent. Fentress County’s unemployment rate declined from 9.2 percent to 8.3 percent, while Morgan County’s unemployment rate was down from 9.5 percent to 8.8 percent. Pickett County’s unemployment rate of 11.2 percent was unchanged from October.
Knoxville’s unemployment rate of 6.2 percent was the lowest among Tennessee’s major metropolitan areas, followed by Nashville-Murfreesboro (6.4 percent), Chattanooga (7.1 percent) and Memphis (8.6 percent).
The statewide unemployment rate in November was 7.6 percent, slightly below the national rate of 7.7 percent.