Nashville, TN (2017-03-09) The unemployment rate in Scott County continued to trend upward in January, jumping a full percentage point over the month. Scott County wasn’t alone, as the jobless rate increased in every county across the state in January.
The January statistics from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development were volatile, as the state made yearly adjustments to most reporting categories. In their latest report, the state states the jobless rate in Scott County for January was 9.5 percent, up sharply from December’s revised rate of 8.5 percent. In deriving that number, the state made annual adjustments to the estimated labor force, which influenced the upward shift. In December, the labor pool for Scott County was estimated at 7,840 workers. In January, that number arbitrarily increased by 200 people. Conversely, gainfully employed workers increased by only 110, and the number of jobless workers increased by 90. In January, the state reported 7,170 employed laborers in Scott County and 790 were jobless. More concerning than the one percent increase over the month was the year-to-year comparison that reflected a two percent increase over last January.
In neighboring counties, Morgan and Campbell experienced even higher percentage rates increase over the month. Morgan County’s jobless rate increased from 6.7 in December to 8.1 percent in January, a jump of 1.4 percent. Campbell County reported a 1.2 percent increase over the month with January rate of 8.5 percent. Fentress County experienced a 0.8 percentage point increase over the month, climbing from 6.0 in December to 6.8 percent in January. Jobless rates in Anderson County and Pickett County both increased by 0.7 percent in January, as they reported rates of 5.8 and 8.2 percent, respectively.
Scott County’s January rate of 9.5 percent landed at number five of county’s with the highest jobless rates. Four of the top five counties were located in east Tennessee. Rhea County reported the state’s second highest jobless rate at 10.2 percent, while Cocke and Sevier Counties were third and fourth reporting January rates of 10.2 and 10.0 percent, respectively. Lake County, which is located in extreme west Tennessee, had the state’s highest jobless rate at 11.3 percent. Counties in the top ten included: Jackson, Lauderdale, Hancock and Houston counties, which all reported January jobless rates of 9.1 percent, and Wayne County, which had a January rate of 9.0 percent.
For the month of January, Davidson County has the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate at 4.1 percent, increasing from 3.7 percent the previous month. Knox County is 4.7 percent, an increase from the previous month’s 4.2 percent. The Hamilton County rate is 5.5 percent, increasing from a previous rate of 4.8 percent. Shelby County has a 6.3 percent rate, increasing from December’s 5.6 percent.