Counties with lowest unemployment held steady, counties with highest got worse


The majority of Tennessee’s counties experienced a drop in unemployment, or their rates remained the same, according to the October 2018 statistics released Wednesday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD).

Unemployment rates dropped in 26 Tennessee counties and remained the same in 36 counties when compared to September statistics. Thirty-three counties across the state experienced an increase in unemployment during October.

Williamson County continued to have the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.7 percent, which was the same rate as the previous month. Davidson County’s October rate remained unchanged at 2.9 percent. Rutherford County also recorded an unemployment rate of 2.9 percent in October, which mirrored its rate from September.

“It’s interesting how nearly all the counties with the lowest unemployment in the state showed no movement in their rates during October,” said TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips. “And that was the case with more than one-third of the counties in Tennessee. It’s just one more sign the state’s economy is holding strong.”

Lauderdale County had Tennessee’s highest unemployment rate in October at 6.8 percent, up from 6.5 percent in September. At 6.1 percent, Bledsoe County recorded the state’s second highest rate for the month, which was 0.2 of a percentage point higher than the previous month.

“While the employment situation is holding steady in a majority of the state’s counties, we do have areas that experienced an uptick in unemployment last month,” said Phillips. “We need to take a look at those counties and work with our local partners to see what we can do to increase access to new jobs for all Tennesseans.”

Statewide, seasonally adjusted unemployment inched up in Tennessee last month. At 3.7 percent, the rate increased by 0.1 of a percentage point. Nationally, the unemployment rate held steady for the second consecutive month at 3.7 percent.

October 2018 unemployment data for each Tennessee county can be found here.

Tennesseans searching for employment can access the state’s workforce development websitewhere they will find a wide range of helpful information and services.

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