BY RICH JONES
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR
Greene County's unemployment rate dropped to 11.5 percent in July from 12.1 percent in June.
Statewide, the July unemployment rate is 8.5 percent, unchanged from the previous month.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in July, down from 7.6 percent in June.
Unemployment in Greene County through the first seven months of this year has averaged 11.4 percent.
The current jobless rate of 11.5 percent is the highest of all seven neighboring counties monitored closely each month by The Greeneville Sun.
Of Tennessee's 95 counties, 79 reported a decrease in the jobless rate from the previous month, 12 counties had higher unemployment, and four counties were unchanged.
The latest monthly report from the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development shows Greene County with 25,500 persons employed in July, and 3,310 unemployed, in a total labor force of 28,810.
Greene County during the previous month, June, had 25,260 employed and 3,480 unemployed in a total labor force of 28,730.
That means there were 240 more persons employed in the county during July than in the previous month, according to the latest data. There were 170 fewer persons unemployed in July than in June.
The total Greene County workforce in July, employed and unemployed combined, increased by 80 persons from the previous month.
Here are the jobless rates in nearby East Tennessee counties in July, and the county-by-county change:
* Cocke County, 10.4 percent, down from 11.1 percent in June;
* Hamblen County, 9.2 percent, down from 10.0 percent in June;
* Hawkins County, 8.5 percent, down from 8.8 percent in June;
* Sevier County, 7.7 percent, down from 8.2 percent in June;
* Sullivan County, 7.6 percent, down from 8.2 percent in June;
* Unicoi County, 8.3 percent, down from 8.6 percent in June, and
* Washington County, 7.7 percent down from 8.1 percent in June.
THE PAST YEAR
Here are the Greene County unemployment rates in each month for the past year, beginning with July 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;
* 10.4 percent in October 2012;
* 10.0 percent in September 2012;
* 11.0 percent in August 2012; and
* 11.6 percent in July 2012.
Unemployment numbers for Greeneville and Greene County are counted together.
RECENT JULY TOTALS
Here are the July unemployment rates in Greene County in recent years:
* 11.5 percent in July 2013;
* 11.6 percent in July 2012;
* 12.7 percent in July 2011;
* 12.8 percent in July 2010; and
* 17.4 percent in July 2009.
STATE'S LARGEST CITIES
The July unemployment rates in Tennessee's largest cities were:
* Chattanooga, 8.3 percent, down from 8.5 percent in June;
* Knoxville, 7.2 percent, down from 7.5 percent in June;
* Memphis, 9.5 percent, down from 10.0 percent in June; and
* Nashville, 6.8 percent, down from 7.0 percent in June.
The July unemployment rates in nearby smaller cities were:
* Bristol, 8.0 percent, down from 8.3 percent in June;
* Johnson City, 7.8 percent, down from 8.2 percent in June;
* Kingsport, 8.1 percent, down from 9.0 percent in June; and
* Morristown, 9.7 percent, down from 10.8 percent in June.
HIGHEST AND LOWEST
Scott County, north of Knoxville and bordering Kentucky, had the state's highest county unemployment rate in July, at 17.2 percent.
Williamson County, a suburb just south of Nashville, recorded the state's lowest county unemployment rate in July, at 5.8 percent.
HOW GREENE CO. RANKS
Tennessee has 95 counties. Of those 95 counties, 19 counties had higher unemployment than Greene County, 74 counties reported lower unemployment, and one county was the same as Greene County at 11.5 percent.
Greene County is the most populous county to have an unemployment rate as high as 11.5 percent.