BY RICH JONES
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR
Greene County's unemployment rate increased sharply during January, climbing to 11.9 percent from 11.1 percent in December.
The county's jobless rate had been as low as 8.7 percent as late as November.
The 11.9 percent unemployment rate is the highest in Greene County since September 2011 when the county's jobless rate was 12.4 percent.
The January numbers, released last week, followed a statewide trend in which all but one of Tennessee's 95 counties posted higher unemployment rates in January than in December, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.
Statewide, the January jobless rate was 7.7 percent, up from 7.6 percent in December.
The U.S. unemployment rate in January was 7.9 percent, up from 7.8 percent in December.
Seven nearby counties -- Cocke, Hamblen, Hawkins, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington -- also recorded higher unemployment numbers in the report by the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.
Greene County's unemployment rate a year earlier, in January 2012, was 11.3 percent.
The latest report shows Greene County as having 25,510 persons employed in January, and 3,440 unemployed, in a total labor force of 28,940 (numbers are rounded to the nearest 10 by the Department of Labor & Workforce Development).
Greene County during December had 27,290 employed and 3,180 unemployed in a total labor force of 30,480.
That means there were 1,780 fewer persons employed in the county during January than in the previous month, according to the latest data. There were also 260 more persons unemployed in January than in December.
The total work force in January, employed and unemployed combined, decreased by 1,540 persons.
Here are the jobless rates in nearby East Tennessee counties in January, and the county-by-county change:
* Cocke County, 12.8 percent, up from 10.6 percent in December;
* Hamblen County, 8.9 percent, up from 8.7 percent in December;
* Hawkins County, 8.3 percent, up from from 7.6 percent in December;
* Sevier County, 11.5 percent, up from 8.0 percent in December;
* Sullivan County, 7.2 percent, up from 6.5 percent in December;
* Unicoi County, 9.9 percent, up from 9.2 percent in December, and
* Washington County, 7.0 percent up from 6.3 percent in December.
THE PAST YEAR
Here are the Greene County unemployment rates in each month for the past year, beginning with January, 2013:
* 11.9 percent in January 2013;
* 10.4 percent in December;
* 8.7 percent in November;
* 10.4 percent in October;
* 10.0 percent in September;
* 11.0 percent in August;
* 11.2 percent in June;
* 9.6 percent in May;
* 9.5 percent in April;
* 10.7 percent in March;
* 11.1 percent in February;
* 11.3 percent in January, 2012.
Unemployment numbers for Greeneville and Greene County are counted together.
RECENT JANUARY TOTALS
Here are the January unemployment rates in Greene County in recent years:
* 11.9 percent in January 2013;
* 11.3 percent in January 2012;
* 13.2 percent in January 2011;
* 16.6 percent in January 2010; and
* 14.1 percent in January 2009.
STATE'S LARGEST CITIES
The January unemployment rates in Tennessee's largest cities were:
* Chattanooga, 9.2 percent, up from 8.1 percent in December;
* Knoxville, 7.7 percent, up from 7.1 percent in December;
* Memphis, 10.8 percent, up from 9.9 percent in December; and
* Nashville, 6.6 percent, up from 6.1 percent in December.
The January unemployment rates in nearby smaller cities were:
* Bristol, 6.5 percent, up from 6.1 percent in December;
* Johnson City, 7.0 percent, up from 6.3 percent in December;
* Kingsport, 8.0 percent, up from 7.1 percent in December; and
* Morristown, 9.9 percent, up from 9.6 percent in December.
HIGHEST AND LOWEST
Scott County, north of Knoxville and bordering Kentucky, had the state's highest county unemployment rate in January, at 18.1 percent.
Williamson County, a suburb just south of Nashville, recorded the state's lowest county unemployment rate in January with 5.2 percent.
The only county to show a drop in unemployment was Polk County, which is east of Chattanooga.