County Unemployment Rates Remain Low Across Tennessee
87 Counties Posted Rates Below 5 Percent in November
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) Commissioner Burns Phillips today announced unemployment rates in November remained low across the state and the vast majority of Tennessee counties continue to experience rates below 5 percent.
Davidson and Williamson counties tied for having the lowest unemployment in the state with rates of 2.5 percent, a slight increase of 0.3 percentage points compared to October.
Eight of the ten lowest county unemployment rates in November were in Middle Tennessee, with Knox and Sevier counties in East Tennessee rounding out the list of the top ten lowest rates in the state. All counties in the top ten had a rate below 3 percent and unemployment rates in 87 Tennessee counties remained under 5 percent in November.
“The economy remains strong in Tennessee, but we are not going to let up on our Drive to 55 to ensure our workforce is ready for the demands of employers in the years to come,” Haslam said. “And we’re keeping our focus on creating a business-friendly environment that will continue to attract jobs and make Tennessee the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”
Lauderdale County had the highest unemployment rate in November, at 5.5 percent, a 0.3 percentage point increase from the previous month. Rhea and Bledsoe Counties both had rates of 5.4 percent, which represents a 0.1 percentage point increase for Rhea County and a 0.5 percentage point increase for Bledsoe County.
“While unemployment rates remain near historically low levels in many counties, there are still areas that need our assistance,” Phillips said. “We are working with other state agencies, like the Department of Economic and Community Development, to create jobs and qualified workforces in those distressed counties.”
Tennessee’s statewide unemployment rate in November was 3.1 percent – two percentage points lower than it was in November 2016 and one percentage point lower than the national rate.
The statewide unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted, while the 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 times series.