Tennessee Begins 2018 With Unemployment Rates Lower Than January 2017

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Thursday released county unemployment statistics for January.  A vast majority of the state’s 95 counties continue to record unemployment rates under five percent and every county’s rate was lower than it was in January 2017. 

Williamson County continued to have Tennessee’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.5 percent, which is a 0.3 percent increase from December. 

At 2.7 percent, Davidson and Cheatham Counties tied for the second lowest unemployment rates in the state.  Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Moore, Knox, Robertson, and Lincoln Counties rounded out the list of the top ten lowest unemployment rates in Tennessee.  Robertson and Lincoln Counties were not part of December’s top ten list. 

"Because of seasonal employment trends, Tennessee typically sees a slight uptick in county unemployment at the start of the year,” said TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips.  “But the year-to-year comparison of statistics shows just how well the state is doing when it comes to job creation.” 

Many counties saw a decrease of two percent or more in year-to-year comparisons.  Two counties once again stand out when comparing unemployment statistics from January 2018 to January 2017.  

In east Tennessee, Scott County’s unemployment situation has improved significantly in comparison to same time last year.  In January of 2017 the county’s unemployment rate was 8.1 percent.  This year, the rate in Scott County was 4.8 percent, a drop of 3.3 percentage points.  

Lake County in west Tennessee has also experienced significant job growth over the last year.  Last January the county had an unemployment rate of 10.1 percent.  During January 2018 the county recorded a rate of 6.4 percent, a difference of 3.7 percentage points. 

 “This is a great example of how Tennessee’s economy is not only strong in its metropolitan areas, but it is also doing well in many of the state’s more rural counties,” Commissioner Phillips said. 

Tennessee had a statewide unemployment rate of 3.3 percent in January, which was the sixth lowest in the nation.  The national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent last month.   

The statewide unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted, while county rates are not.  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 an economic time series.  

The state of Tennessee will release the February 2018 statewide unemployment rate at 1:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 22.  The county unemployment rates for that month will be released the following week on Thursday, March 29, at 1:30 p.m. CT




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