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Unemployment rate up slightly
DeKalb at 8.7 percent for July
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The unemployment rate in DeKalb County was up slightly in July coming in at 8.7 percent, up from 8.3 percent for the month of June.The rate is still well below the 9.3 percent rate reported in July 2011.The local labor force, at 10,040 for June, dropped to 9,710 in July.A total of 9,210 DeKalb countians were employed last month, while 830 were out of work.The local labor force for July, however, dropped to 9,710 people, with a total of 8,860 employed and 840 without jobs.The rate decreased in 20 Tennessee counties in July, increased in 59, and remained the same in 16.The state rate for July rose to 8.4 percent, up from the June revised rate of 8.1 percent.Tennessee’s July unemployment rate is the highest since December 2011, but is still 1.0 percentage point below one year ago.The national rate for July was at 8.3 percent, up .1 percent from the June rate.In surrounding counties, White County reported a 12.5 percent rate, up from 12.1 in June.The rate in Warren County was at 10.2 percent for July, up from 9.9 percent in the previous month, while Jackson County increased to 9.5 percent, up from 9.4 percent in June.Putnam County dropped from 8.8 percent in June to 8.6 percent in July.Cannon County dropped from 8.5 percent in June to 8.3 percent in July, and Smith County rose from 7.7 percent in June to 7.8 percent in July.The rate in Wilson County was unchanged from the June report, at 7.0 percent.Lincoln County enjoyed the state’s lowest rate in July, at 5.9 percent, while Scott County reported a 21.7 percent rate, the highest in Tennessee. Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development will begin implementation of the Unemployment Insurance Accountability Act of 2012 on Sept. 1.The act requires all unemployment claimants to demonstrate valid work search activity and maintain a work-search log.Failure to comply with the new law will result in a loss of benefits.Notices will be mailed next week to all claimants receiving Tennessee Unemployment Compensation informing them of the new requirements to continue receiving benefits.Those receiving federal extended unemployment benefits are already required to document work-search activity.“The Accountability Act is aptly named as it raises the bar of accountability for those receiving unemployment benefits,” said Labor Commissioner Karla Davis. “Documenting three work searches each week will require a small effort, but the consequences of not doing them are very serious.”Labor and Workforce Development will conduct random audits of 1,000 claimants’ work-search documentation each week to verify work search activity.If work-search claims are found to be fraudulent, the department will stop a claimant’s benefits immediately and can suspend payments for eight weeks.Claimants are required to conduct three work searches each week to qualify for benefits.A valid work search activity is considered any of the following:•Registering at and applying for jobs online;•Completing a job application in person or online;•Mailing a job application and/or resume, as instructed in a public notice;•Making in-person visits with employers who may have job openings;•Sending job applications to employers;•Interviewing with potential employers in person or by telephone;•Registering for work with private employment agencies, placement services or hiring unions;•Using the employment resources available at Tennessee Career Centers that may lead directly to a job;•Attending job-search seminars, career networking meetings, job fairs or employment-related workshops that offer instruction in improving individual skills for obtaining employment.Claimants who don’t receive guidance and work-search logs in the mail can find information both on the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Internet site at, or at the nearest Tennessee Career Center.For Career Center locations visit