Low Unemployment Continues Across Much of Tennessee in January

Nearly Two-Thirds of Tennessee Counties have Unemployment Rates Below 5 percent
Thursday, March 14, 2019 | 01:30pm

NASHVILLE – Statistics released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) show 67 of the state’s 95 counties continued to experience unemployment rates below 5 percent during the first month of 2019.

The January unemployment rate is 5 percent or greater in the remaining 28 Tennessee counties. 

Williamson County has the lowest unemployment for the month at 2.4 percent, an increase of 0.3 of a percentage point from December's revised figure. 

With a rate of 2.6 percent, unemployment in Davidson County was the second lowest in the state last month, and that figure represents a 0.3 of a percentage point increase compared to the previous month. 

Rutherford County had the state's third lowest rate at 2.7 percent, which is a 0.5 of a percentage point increase from its December rate.

"Many counties did experience an uptick in unemployment in January," said TDLWD Commissioner Jeff McCord, "But when you look at a year-to-year comparison, the vast majority of Tennessee's counties had lower unemployment this year compared to January of last year."

Lake and Obion counties in the Northwest corner of Tennessee had the highest unemployment in January.

Lake County's unemployment rate jumped 3.7 percentage points last month to 9.3 percent, the highest in the state.

Obion County more than doubled its unemployment rate in January to 8.8 percent, a 4.7 percentage point increase from December's revised rate of 4.1 percent. 

"The unemployment numbers in Lake and Obion counties have our attention," McCord said. "We are meeting next week with our workforce development partners from across the state and we will have an opportunity to talk about any particular issues in the Northwest area that may have contributed to this spike in unemployment."

For the last four months, Tennessee's statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has remained at its record low of 3.3 percent. Nationally, the January unemployment rate experienced a slight increase of 0.1 of a percentage point to 4.0 percent.

The January 2019 unemployment data for each of Tennessee's counties can be found here

Tennesseeans searching for a new job can access the state's workforce development website where they will find a wide range of helpful information and services, including a virtual job recruiter. 

 The state of Tennessee will release the statewide unemployment rate for February 2019 on Thursday, March 21, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. CT