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Unemployment rate drops to 7.5 percent
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Due mostly to a decline in the number of people seeking jobs, DeKalb County's April unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 percent in April, down from 8 percent in March, and below the 9.1 percent rate reported in April, 2011.Tennessee’s unemployment rate for April fell to 7.8 percent, down from the March revised rate of 7.9 percent.The national unemployment rate for April 2012 was 8.1 percent, down slightly from the 8.2 percent March rate.“While Tennessee’s unemployment rate has declined for nine consecutive months, April’s decrease is mostly attributable to a shrinking labor force,” said Commissioner Davis. “This is similar to the monthly change that occurred on the national level,” said Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development Karla Davis.The local labor force for April was at 9,810.A total of 9,070 were employed and 740 were unemployed.DeKalb County was tied with Cannon and Macon in April for third lowest rate in the Upper Cumberland region.Smith County enjoyed the region’s lowest rate at 6.7 percent, while Putnam rang in at 7.2 percent.Overton County reported a rate of 7.9 percent, Jackson had an 8.0 percent rate, and Fentress reported a rate of 8.4 percent.Warren and Cumberland both registered rates of 8.7 percent, while Clay County reported a 9.1 percent rate.Rounding out the area rates, Van Buren reported a 10.5 percent rate in April, White had a 10.6 percent rate, and Pickett County’s rate was 12.1 percent.Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 5.8 percent, up from 5.6 percent in March.Davidson County was 6.5 percent, down from 6.6 percent in the previous month.Hamilton County was 7.0 percent, down from 7.3 percent, and Shelby County was 8.3 percent, down from the March unemployment rate of 9.1 percent.The state unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not.Statewide, non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for April show the rate decreased in 84 counties, increased in five counties, and remained the same in six counties.Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.The unemployment rate has declined for nine consecutive months, Tennessee’s April unemployment rate is the lowest since Nov. 2008, and the number of unemployed persons is the lowest since November 2008.But, while the number of unemployed persons has declined for 16 consecutive months, the labor force in the state has also declined for four consecutive months, indicating that fewer people in the state are looking for work.