BY MICHAEL S. RENEAU
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR
November saw Greene County's unemployment rate take the sharpest decrease it's had in a year, dropping to 9.6 percent, according to numbers released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The county's jobless rate was 11.0 percent in October and 10.8 percent in September.
November's number is the lowest the rate has been since November 2012, when it was 8.7 percent and dropped 1.7 percent from the previous month.
Tennessee's statewide unemployment rate for November was 8.1 percent, down from October's 8.5 percent.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.0 percent in November. It was at 7.3 percent in October.
All but one of the seven counties monitored closely by The Greeneville Sun saw their jobless figures decrease from October to November. Unicoi County's rate remained the same.
Despite the drop in the local rate, of Greene County's neighboring counties, only Cocke County had a higher November unemployment rate than Greene.
Of Tennesee's 95 counties for November, unemployment decreased in 93 counties, increased in one and remained the same in one.
The latest monthly report from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development shows Greene County with 25,550 persons employed in November, and 2,700 unemployed, in a total labor force of 28,250.
Here are the jobless rates in nearby East Tennessee counties in November and the county-by-county change:
* Cocke County, 9.7, down from 10.4 percent in October;
* Hamblen County, 8.0 percent, down from 9.0 percent in October;
* Hawkins County, 6.9 percent, down fom 7.9 percent in October;
* Sevier County, 7.2 percent, down fom 7.5 percent in October;
* Sullivan County, 6.5 percent, down fom 7.2 percent in October;
* Unicoi County, 7.9 percent, unchanged from October;
* Washington County, 6.4 percent, down fom 7.5 percent in October.
THE PAST YEAR
Here are the Greene County unemployment rates in each month for the past year, beginning with November 2013:
* 9.6 percent in November 2013;
* 11.0 percent in October 2013
* 10.8 percent in September 2013;
* 11.1 percent in August 2013;
* 11.5 percent in July 2013;
* 12.1 percent in June 2013;
* 11.2 percent in May 2013;
* 10.6 percent in April 2013;
* 11.2 percent in March 2013;
* 11.6 percent in February 2013;
* 11.9 percent in January 2013;
* 10.4 percent in December 2012;
* 8.7 percent in November 2012.
Unemployment numbers for Greeneville and Greene County are counted together.
RECENT NOVEMBER TOTALS
Here are the November unemployment rates in Greene County in recent years:
* 9.6 percent in November 2013
* 8.7 percent in November 2012;
* 10.3 percent in November 2011;
* 12.0 percent in November 2010; and
* 13.8 percent in November 2009.
STATE'S LARGEST CITIES
The November unemployment rates in Tennessee's largest cities were:
* Chattanooga, 7.9 percent in November, down from 9.0 percent in October;
* Knoxville, 7.0 percent in November, down from 7.9 percent in October;
* Memphis, 10.5 percent in November, down from 11.2 percent in October;
* Nashville, 5.8 percent in November, down from 6.7 percent in October.
The November unemployment rates in nearby smaller cities were:
* Bristol, 7.0 percent in November, down from 7.3 percent in October;
* Johnson City, 6.5 percent in November, down from 7.5 percent in October;
* Kingsport, 6.8 percent in November, down from 7.7 percent in October; and
* Morristown, 8.4 percent in November, down from 9.2 percent in October.
HIGHEST AND LOWEST
Scott County, north of Knoxville and bordering Kentucky, had the state's highest county unemployment rate in November, at 15.7 percent.
Williamson County, just south of Nashville, recorded the state's lowest county unemployment rate in November, at 5.0 percent.
HOW GREENE CO. RANKS
Tennessee has 95 counties. Of those 95 counties, 27 counties had higher unemployment than Greene County in November, 66 counties reported lower unemployment, and one county had the same as Greene County.