DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Unemployment dropped in September below 5 percent in every Tennessee county for the first time ever, according to an announcement from Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips.
This is the second consecutive month rates have declined in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties.
September also marked the fourth consecutive month Tennessee experienced a historic low statewide unemployment rate. At 3 percent, Tennessee has the lowest unemployment in the Southeast and the eighth lowest rate in the nation.
“With every county seeing unemployment rates below five percent and with a record statewide unemployment rate, Tennessee’s fiscal strength is clear and the investment in our workforce is paying off,” Haslam said. “Employers know that Tennessee is a place where they can find skilled workers, so they continue to expand and relocate here.”
Williamson County reported Tennessee’s lowest unemployment rate in September at 2.1 percent, down from 2.7 percent in August and down from 3.9 percent from September 2016. Davidson County recorded the second lowest rate at 2.2 percent, falling from 2.7 percent the previous month. Rutherford, Cheatham, Wilson and Sumner Counties all have a September rate of 2.3 percent, down more than 0.5 percent from August.
“Many of the most notable decreases in September took place in counties with the highest unemployment rates, pointing out the economic growth and opportunity in some of Tennessee’s most distressed counties,” Phillips said.
Rhea County continued to have the highest percentage of unemployed workers in Tennessee, but in September its rate fell from 6 percent to 4.9 percent. In January, Rhea County recorded a 10.2 percent unemployment rate. Each of the counties with the highest unemployment rates in the state saw similar decreases in September.
This is the fourth time in 2017 unemployment rates have decreased in all 95 counties. Rates also dropped in every county during February, April and August. Unemployment data for each of Tennessee’s 95 counties is available here.
The improved county statistics for September follow the fourth consecutive month Tennessee experienced a record low statewide unemployment rate, which was 3 percent, down 0.3 percent from August. The national unemployment rate also dropped in September to 4.2 percent.
The statewide and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted, but the county rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, opening and closing of schools and other recurring seasonal events from an economic time series.