Unemployment in Morristown hit a 10-year high at 13%, the highest rate since Jan. 1998, and other metropolitan and county communities likewise saw the summer bring on high rates, according to a report in the Kingsport Times-News:
"With the exception of Johnson City and Kingsport, unemployment rates for East Tennessee cities with population above 25,000 are the highest rates since Jan. 1998 - the date the current Bureau of Labor Statistics report begins.
"Morristown's unemployment rate was 13% - the highest since Jan. 1998.
Kingsport weighted in with 8.2% in July.
Bristol's July rate was 6.6% - the highest since Jan. 1998.
Johnson City's July rate was 6.2%, down from June's 6.3% rate."
The KTN also spoke with ETSU Economist Steb Hipple, who says that even though there were more jobs available this summer than there were in 1998, it's the constantly rising cost of living and inflation which is bringing more and more job seekers out into the marketplace:
"The higher cost of living has decimated family living standards. The only recourse is to put additional family members to work, so in the second quarter millions of Americans entered the labor market trying to find work to augment falling household incomes.”
The announced 20% rate hike in utilities this fall from TVA, and an economy which isn't adding jobs as fast as costs rise mean these numbers may well stay high into next year. And expect your taxes to increase as well.
Ben Cunningham posts about two new increases - one on a so-called 'streamlined-sales-tax' on internet purchases, and another on the coming increase in gasoline taxes in Tennessee as well.
Seems the government, along with most of the rest of us, are searching high and low for ways to provide enough money to cover ever-increasing costs.