Bedford County's jobless rate rose a half a percentage point during the last month of 2012, the state department of labor and workforce development announced Thursday.
According to preliminary figures released by the state, the county's unemployment rate in December was at 8.3 percent -- 0.5 percent higher than reported for November.
Labor force estimates for the county showed that 1,870 were without work, with 20,660 employed out of an estimated work force of 22,530. In December of 2011, the jobless rate was at 9.2 percent, nearly a full percentage point higher.
Tennessee's unemployment rate for December was 7.6 percent, remaining constant from the November revised rate of 7.6 percent, Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development Karla Davis reported.
The national jobless rate for December was a reported 7.8 percent -- also unchanged from the previous month.
Knox County had the state's lowest major metropolitan rate of 5.7 percent, up from 5.2 percent in November. Davidson County was 6.2 percent, up from 5.7 percent. Hamilton County was 7.2 percent, up from 6.4 percent, and Shelby County was 8.7 percent, up from 7.8 percent in November.
Williamson County had the lowest rate at 5 percent, while Scott County had the highest jobless figures at 16.8 percent.
According to the state's economic summary, Tennessee's jobless rate is the lowest since October 2008 with the number of unemployed persons at 235,700. The number of employed persons, 2,879,600, is the highest since March 2008.
Over the past year, the state's unemployment rate fell from 8.5 percent to 7.6 percent, while the national rate declined from 8.5 percent to 7.8 percent.
Total nonfarm employment increased 6,000 jobs from November to December, with increases in leisure/hospitality, manufacturing, and mining/logging/construction. There were decreases in administrative/support/waste services, retail trade, and state government.
Over 2012, total nonfarm employment increased 36,400 jobs, with increases in manufacturing, health care/social assistance, and accommodation/food services, while there were decreases in wholesale trade, financial activities, and arts/entertainment/recreation.