Friday, March 06, 2009

Double-Digit Unemployment Hits East TN

Layoffs and business closings in January have taken a steep toll in East Tennessee:

Kingsport’s January unadjusted unemployment rate moved to a five-year high of 10.5 percent — up from 8.1 percent in December.

Morristown had the highest jobless rate for area cities — 15.2 percent, up from 12.1 percent in December.

Johnson City and Bristol were the only cities in the region with jobless rates that stayed in the single digits for January. Johnson City’s unemployment rate was 7.0 percent, up from 6.0 percent in December. Bristol’s jobless rate was 7.1 percent, up from 6.0 percent in December.

Knoxville’s unemployment rate was 10.6 percent, up from 8.9 percent in December.

Sullivan County, which has the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the state, posted a 6.9 percent January rate, up from 5.7 percent in December.

The unemployment rate in other Northeast Tennessee counties was:

•Washington County — 7.4 percent.
•Carter County — 9.1 percent.
•Grainger County — 12.4 percent.
•Greene County — 14.1 percent.
•Hamblen County — 10.4 percent.
•Hawkins County — 10.8 percent.
•Johnson County — 12.4 percent.

The Combined Statistical Area of Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol TN-VA had an 8.3 percent jobless rate last month — up from 6.6 percent in December. Knoxville’s CSA was slightly higher at 8.7 percent. (Source)
Some Tennessee legislators continue to reject and refuse stimulus payments aimed at unemployment insurance benefits, though I see few from the cities and counties above, except for Knoxville's representatives and one each from Kingsport and Bristol. You stay classy, guys:

• Harry Brooks (R-Knoxville)
• Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville)
• Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville)
• Eric Watson (R-Cleveland)
• Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet)
• Eric Swafford (R-Pikeville)
• Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville)
• Richard Floyd (R-Chattanooga)
• Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol)
• Joe Carr (R-Lascassas)
• Jimmy Eldridge (R-Jackson)
• Tony Shipley (R-Kingsport)
• Vance Dennis (R-Savannah)
• Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough)
• Glen Casada (R-Franklin)
• Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga)
• Mike Bell (R-Riceville)
• Joey Hensley (R-Howenwald)
• Phillip Johnson (R-Pegram)
• Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville)
• Jimmy Matlock (R-Lenoir)
• Curtis Halford (R-Dyer)
• Beth Harwell (R-Nashville)

(list via KnoxViews)

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