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Johnson City unemployment rate lowest in Tri-Cities

Staff Report • Jun 25, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Johnson City is the only one of Northeast Tennessee’s four largest cities where the unemployment rate did not go into double digits during May. That city’s unadjusted rate was 8.4 percent — up from 7.7 percent last month — according to data released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Morristown continued to have the dubious distinction of having the region’s highest jobless rate at 18.6 percent, up from 17.8 percent in April.

Kingsport’s jobless rate increased from 11.6 percent to 12.6 percent, while Bristol’s rate was 10.6 percent vs. 9.0 percent last month.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for May show that the rate increased in 88 counties, decreased in six counties, and remained the same in one county.

Washington and Sullivan counties were among the 10 counties with the lowest rates, while Greene County was among the state’s 10 counties with the highest jobless rates.

The May rates for area counties are:

• Greene County — 15.5 percent.

• Hawkins County — 13.1 percent.

• Hamblen County — 12.7 percent.

• Unicoi County — 12.1 percent.

• Carter County — 9.6 percent.

• Sullivan County — 9.1 percent.

• Washington County — 8.6 percent.

Tennessee’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 10.7 percent, 0.8 percentage point higher than the April rate of 9.9 percent. The United States’ unemployment rate for the month of May was 9.4 percent.

On the Metropolitan Statistical Area level, the Johnson City rate was 9.3 percent, and the Kingsport-Bristol TN-VA rate was 9.8 percent.

The Combined Statistical Area of Johnson City, Kingsport-Bristol TN-VA showed a rate of 9.6 percent for May.

CLICK HERE for the full Tennessee May unemployment report.

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