Unemployment Rates Once Again Drop in a Majority of Tennessee Counties

Unemployment rates decreased or remained the same in 85 counties in September
Thursday, October 25, 2018 | 01:30pm

NASHVILLE - Newly released unemployment data from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) showed that vast majority of Tennessee's 95 counties experienced lower unemployment rates in September 2018, when compared to the previous month.

Rates decreased in 70 counties across Tennessee, remained the same in 15 counties, and 10 counties experienced a slight increase in unemployment. 

Once again, Williamson County recorded the state's lowest unemployment rate at 2.7 percent, which represented a 0.1 of a percentage point decrease from the previous month. With a rate of 2.9 percent, Davidson and Rutherford Counties had the second lowest rates in Tennessee. The Rutherford County rate was 0.2 of a percentage point lower than it was in August, while Davidson County experienced a 0.1 percentage point drop. 

The counties with the state's lowest unemployment each have a rate of 3.2 percent or lower.

"It's encouraging to see so many counties report lower unemployment rates for the second consecutive month," said TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips. "Many of the counties with the state's highest unemployment still experienced a decrease in September."

Lauderdale County had the state's highest unemployment rate last month at 6.5 percent, but that figure still marked a 0.2 percentage point decrease when compared to the previous month. It was a similar situation from Bledsoe County, which had the second highest rate. In August, the county had an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent, but it dropped to 5.9 percent in September. 

Only 16 out of Tennessee's 95 counties had an unemployment rate above 5 percent last month.

"While these latest numbers are encouraging, there are still thousands of Tennesseans who are looking for a job," Phillips said. "No matter what the unemployment rate, this department counties to work day in and day out to enhance workforce development and access to employment across Tennessee."

For the second consecutive month, Tennessee had a seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate of 3.6 percent in September. The national unemployment rate last month dipped 0.2 of a percentage point to 3.7 percent. In September 2017, the national rate was 4.2 percent.

Unemployment rates for each Tennessee county and the statistical area can be found here. 

Tennesseans searching for new or better employment can find a wide range of helpful services on the state's workforce development website.

The state of Tennessee will release the October statewide unemployment rate Thursday, November 15, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. CT.