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Majority of Tennessee Counties Continue To Have Low Unemployment

Unemployment Rates in 91 of the State's 95 Counties below five percent in May
Thursday, June 27, 2019 | 01:30pm

NASHVILLE - Newly released unemployment data from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) for May 2019 shows unemployment rates for nearly every county in the state are below 5 percent for the month.

Ninety-one counties have unemployment rates lower than 5 percent and four counties have a rate of 5 percent or higher in May.

While Tennessee continued to experience low unemployment in May, 90 of the state's counties did see a slight uptick in their rates, one county remained the same, and unemployment dropped in four counties. 

"It's not unusual to see a minimal increase in local unemployment rates at the start of the summer season," explained TDLWD Commissioner Jeff McCord. "May is a month of transition; many high school and college graduates enter the workforce for the first time during the month and most school personnel start their summer break in May."

At 2.2 percent, Williamson County currently has the state's lowest unemployment rate. That represents a 0.3 of a percentage point increase when compared to April. Davidson County also experienced an uptick in its unemployment rate, increasing from 2 percent in April to 2.3 percent in May.

While Clay County has Tennessee's highest unemployment for the month, its new rate of 5.4 percent is still 0.2 of a percentage point lower than it was in April. Hancock County recorded the second highest rate in May at 5.3 percent, a 0.4 percentage point increase from the previous month.

Tennessee's statewide unemployment rate experienced a slight uptick in May. For three consecutive months, it remained at the all-time low of 3.2 percent but increased by 0.1 of a percentage point when compared to April's rate. 

Nationally, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6 percent, mirroring April's national rate.

County unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted, while the state and national rate use the seasonal adjustment to eliminate outside influences on the statistics.

A breakdown of Tennessee's May 2019 county unemployment data is available here. Additional information about state labor statistics can be found on Tennessee's workforce development website,

The state of Tennessee will release the statewide unemployment rate for June 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. CT.