County Jobless Rate Drops to Eight Year Low

Nashville, TN (2015-10-22) The jobless rate in Scott County dropped to an eight-year low in September.  Despite the improvement, the county had the third highest unemployment rate in the state.

According to the latest statistics from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the unemployment rate in Scott County in September was 8.7 percent, down 0.5 percent over the month.  Unlike previous reports, the improvement in joblessness wasn’t attributed to shifts in the labor force that masked job losses.  The number of jobless workers in September dropped to 700, a decrease of 30 over the month—the lowest since February 2007, when 680 people didn’t have jobs.  However, the labor force has also shed 600 eligible workers since 2007.

The county’s estimated labor force in September was 7,990, an increase of 50 persons over the month.  In September, the number of employed workers in Scott County increased by 80—the first increase in three months.  The unemployment rate a year ago was 10.8 percent when 890 people were jobless.

In surrounding counties, the jobless rate went down in three and remained unchanged in the other.  Campbell and Morgan counties experienced a 0.1 percentage point decline over the month, reporting September rates of 7.9 and 7.0 percent, respectively.  Fentress County reported a September rate of 6.9 percent, a 0.4 percentage point decrease.  Anderson County’s jobless rate remained unchanged at 5.8 percent.

Scott County had the third highest unemployment rate in the state, below Hancock and Lauderdale counties, which reported September rates of 11.1 and 9.4 percent, respectively.

Last month, Scott County was ranked fourth.  This month, the county shared the same jobless rate as Houston County (8.7%), but was statistically ranked third.  Obion County at 8.6 percent rounded out the top five.

In the bottom half of the top ten were only separated by 0.3 percentage point:  McNairy County (8.3%); Haywood County (8.2%); Lake County (8.2%); Clay County (8.1%); and Carroll County (8.0%).

Across the state, the rates decreased in 29 counties, increased in 42, and remained the same in 24 counties.

Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in September at 4.6 percent, up from August’s rate of 4.5 percent. Knox County was 4.8 percent in September, the same as the previous month. The Hamilton County September rate was 5.6 percent, down from 5.7 in August. Shelby County was 6.7 percent in September, down from 6.9 percent the previous month.