Jan 2 2008

According to figures released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development on Friday, Blount County's unemployment rate for November was 4.2%, slightly lower than the overall state unemployment rate of 4.9%.

Blount County unemployment was up .4% since October 2007, and up .1% year over year from November 2006.

November unemployment in the City of Maryville was 6.9%, up .5% from October 2007 and up .6% from November 2006.

November unemployment for the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was 3.9%, up .4% from October 2007 and unchanged from November 2006. The Knoxville MSA includes Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon, and Union counties.

The total estimated workforce in the Blount County is 62,740, and the City of Maryville's workforce is 13,350.

The lowest unemployment was in Williamson County, at 3.6%, followed by Knox County at 3.7%. The highest unemployment was in Marshall County at 8.9%, followed by Pickett Co. at 8.8%.


Is Pickett County the one with Pickett State Park in it? Beautiful place. I wonder if a contributing factor to the unemployment rate is lack of large cities nearby or something. Does the report ruminate on possible reasons for these figures?

It's near Pickett State

It's near Pickett State Park, which is in Jamestown (a/k/a Jimtown).

Pickett Co. is (or at least was) the smallest county in TN. It's actually where I'm from. (Well, my folks are from there. The nearest hospital was the next county over, where I was actually born).

The report doesn't speculate why unemployment is so high. Pickett Co. is very rural, up on the border with Kentucky in the middle of nowhere, and there's not much industry there, and not as many farmers as there used to be. Unemployment has actually been a lot higher in the past (after the only major employer, a shirt factory, closed down several years ago).

There have been some new manufacturing jobs in the past few years, and they have been promoting tourism at Dale Hollow lake, which is quite beautiful.

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