County Jobless Rate Edged Up 1.1% in January, Still Much Better Than a Year Ago

Nashville, TN (2018-03-16) What difference can a year make?  When it comes to the county’s unemployment rate, 3.3 percent.  Despite a 1.1% increase in joblessness in January, workers are fairing much better than a year ago.

According to the latest statistics from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the unemployment rate for Scott County in January was 4.8 percent, up from 3.7 percent in December 2017.  Despite the increase, the employment picture is much brighter today, as the rate was 8.1 percent in January 2017.  A year ago, 760 laborers were jobless.  Today, just around half that number (390) are looking for work.

A recent announcement by JDS Technologies, Inc. that it would expand its operations into Winfield and create up to 110 jobs in the next five years will also have a positive impact on the county’s future employment picture.  The JDS announcement, coupled with a recent expansion at Takahata Precision Tennessee, and positive indicators from other major employers, including Tennier Industries and Great Dane, will position the county for strong economic growth in the coming months.

January’s jobless numbers for Scott County reflect a loss of 80 jobs, coupled with a seasonally-adjusted labor force estimate that saw an increase of 300 laborers over the month.

While several counties saw more than a two percent improvement in year-to-year comparisons, Scott County was one of only two counties that saw more than three percent.   With a year-to-year improvement of 3.3 percent, Scott County was only second to Lake County in west Tennessee, which saw a 3.7 percent increase.

“This is a great example of how Tennessee’s economy is not only strong in its metropolitan areas, but it is also doing well in many of the state’s more rural counties,” Commissioner Burns Phillips said.

The jobless rate increased in nearby Anderson, Campbell, Fentress, Morgan and Pickett counties.  Anderson County edged up to 3.9 percent in January, an increase of 0.7 percent.  Campbell County’s January rate was 5.1 percent, up 1.0 percent over the month.  The unemployment rate in Fentress County increased by 0.6 percent in January at 4.5 percent.  Morgan County reported a January rate of 5.2 percent, up 1.1 percent.  Pickett County experienced a 0.9 percent increase over the month, reporting a January rate of 4.4 percent.

Williamson County continued to have Tennessee’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.5 percent, which is a 0.3 percent increase from December.

At 2.7 percent, Davidson and Cheatham Counties tied for the second lowest unemployment rates in the state.  Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Moore, Knox, Robertson, and Lincoln Counties rounded out the list of the top ten lowest unemployment rates in Tennessee.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates included:  Houston (6.8%), Rhea (6.8%), Cocke (6.5%), Benton (6.5%), Lake (6.4%) Lauderdale (6.3%), Bledsoe (6.2%), Sevier (6.1%), Unicoi (6.1%), and McNairy (5.9%).

Tennessee had a statewide unemployment rate of 3.3 percent in January, which was the sixth lowest in the nation.  The national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent last month.