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State: All 95 counties see unemployment decrease over past month

Estimates for February 2017 reveal Tennessee’s county unemployment rates have decreased in all 95 counties, according to data released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD).

“Not only did the unemployment rate decrease in each of the state’s metropolitan areas, more importantly, the rates are down significantly in our counties with the most unemployed Tennesseans,” said TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips.

At 11.2 percent, Lake County had the state’s highest unemployment rate in January 2017. The estimated county rate is now 8.5 percent, nearly a three-point decrease. Specific county information for the month of February is available online at http://tn.gov/assets/entities/labor/attachments/Labor_Force_Estimates,_Feb_17.pdf

For the month of February, Davidson County has the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate at 3.6 percent, a decline from 4.1 percent the previous month. Knox County is 4.1 percent, decreasing from the previous month’s 4.7 percent. Hamilton County declined from its previous month’s rate of 5.5 to 4.8 percent. The Shelby County rate is 5.5 percent rate, a decrease from January’s 6.3 percent.

Preliminary unemployment rates for Tennessee and the U.S. have lowered by one-tenth of a percentage point in February. The decline places rates at 5.3 and 4.7 percent, respectively.

“In January, Tennessee had three counties with an unemployment rate higher than 10 percent but now, not one county reached that level,” according to Commissioner Phillips. “While many variables determine county monthly unemployment rates, February’s report is definitely a highlight, being this early into the year.”

The state and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted, while the county unemployment 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 economic time series.

The Economic Analysis and Labor Force Estimates are prepared by the Employment Security division’s labor market information specialists. The division reports metrics and contextual information as it relates to employment, income, and population in Tennessee. Labor force topics are narrated in monthly newsletters and additional resources are available on www.Jobs4TN.gov.

Locally, Anderson County’s unemployment rate fell from 5.8% in January to 5.1% last month.

In Campbell County, the rate went from 8.5% in January to 7.3% in February, a 1.2% decrease over the previous month.

The Morgan County unemployment dipped to 6.4%, down by 1.7 from January’s 8.1%.

In Roane County, the rate dropped from 7.0 to 6.0% between January and February and in Union County, the rate went from January’s revised rate of 7.0% to 5.8% last month.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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