December unemployment rates dropped in more than half of Tennessee’s counties. Still, jobless figures remain in the double-digits in 40 counties.
The state’s highest unemployment rate is almost 19 percent in Scott County, about 60 miles northeast of Knoxville. Some of the biggest employers there are building supply manufacturers that have made major cutbacks during the housing slump. Scott County’s jobless rate grew more than one percent from November to December
On the other end of the spectrum, Williamson and Lincoln counties are tied for the state’s lowest rate, at 5.4 percent. And among Tennessee’s major metropolitan areas, Davidson County has the second lowest jobless figure of 6.9 percent, down nearly half a percent from November.