BY MICHAEL S. RENEAU
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR
Greene County's unemployment rate ended 2013 by creeping back into the double digits after a one-month dip, according to numbers released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The county's jobless rate was 10.0 percent in December 2013, up from 9.6 percent in November.
Tennessee's statewide unemployment rate for December was 7.8 percent, down from November's 8.1 percent.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in December. It was at 7.0 percent in November.
Of the seven nearby counties monitored closely by The Greeneville Sun, four saw decreases in their jobless rates, two saw increases, and one county -- Sullivan -- stayed the same.
Greene County has the highest unemployment rate of in this area.
Of Tennessee's 95 counties for December, unemployment decreased in 51 counties, increased in 29, and remained the same in 15.
The latest monthly report from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development shows Greene County with 25,120 persons employed in December, and 2,800 unemployed, in a total labor force of 27,920.
Here are the jobless rates in nearby East Tennessee counties in December and the county-by-county change:
* Cocke County, 9.6, down from 9.7 percent in November;
* Hamblen County, 7.6 percent, down from 8.0 percent in November;
* Hawkins County, 6.3 percent, down from 6.9 percent in November;
* Sevier County, 7.4 percent, up from 7.2 percent in November;
* Sullivan County, 6.5 percent, unchanged from November;
* Unicoi County, 8.1 percent, up from 7.9 in November;
* Washington County, 6.2 percent, down from 6.4 percent in December.
THE PAST YEAR
Here are the Greene County unemployment rates in each month for the past year, beginning with December 2013:
* 10.0 percent in December 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;
Unemployment numbers for Greeneville and Greene County are counted together.
RECENT DECEMBER TOTALS
Here are the November unemployment rates in Greene County in recent years:
* 10.0 percent in December 2013
* 10.4 percent in December 2012;
* 10.8 percent in December 2011;
* 12.2 percent in December 2010; and
* 15.0 percent in December 2009.
STATE'S LARGEST CITIES
The December unemployment rates in Tennessee's largest cities were:
* Chattanooga, 8.0 percent, up slightly from 7.9 percent in November;
* Knoxville, 6.7 percent, down from 7.0 percent in November;
* Memphis, 10.2 percent, down from 10.5 percent in November;
* Nashville, 5.7 percent, down from 5.8 percent in November.
The December unemployment rates in nearby smaller cities were:
* Bristol, 6.8 percent, down from 7.0 percent in November;
* Johnson City, 6.0 percent, down from 6.5 percent in November;
* Kingsport, 6.7 percent, down from 6.8 percent in November; and
* Morristown, 8.2 percent, down from 8.4 percent in November.
HIGHEST AND LOWEST
Scott County, north of Knoxville and bordering Kentucky, had the state's highest county unemployment rate in December, at 15.6 percent.
Williamson County, just south of Nashville, recorded the state's lowest county unemployment rate in December, at 4.8 percent.
HOW GREENE CO. RANKS
Tennessee has 95 counties. Of those 95 counties, 21 counties had higher unemployment than Greene County in December, 71 counties reported lower unemployment, and two counties had the same as Greene County.