Jobless rate drops here, but labor force is down 260 from a year ago


NASHVILLE-The state and Clay County jobless rates dropped in September, but a closer look at the local statistics show a greatly-reduced labor force from a year ago.


Clay County’s jobless rate fell from a revised 13.6 percent in August to 12.6 in September, and the statewide rate dropped from 10.7 percent to 10.5 percent over that same time. Those figures were released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development late last month. 


“Tennessee’s unemployment rate continues to show stabilization with no significant change over the last five months,” reported Labor Commissioner James Neeley. “Following national trends, we are seeing fewer job losses and fewer workers seeking employment.”


The September rate in Tennessee a year ago was 6.9 percent. The national unemployment rate for September 2009 was 9.8 percent, up from the August rate of 9.7 percent.


The September jobless rate for Clay County in 2008 was 10.3 percent, 2.3 percentage points lower than the same period in 2009.


Last year’s unrevised jobless claim statistics showed a labor force of 3,530, with 380 jobless claims filed. There were 3,150 people employed, the stats showed. 


This year’s unrevised labor force estimate was 3,270, a substantial drop of 260 workers from 2008. There were 410 workers filing jobless claims this year, and 2,850 people employed, 300 fewer than the same time last year.