After several months of improvements, Scott County’s unemployment rate spiked in June, jumping 1.7 percentage points to 14.2 percent.
In May, Scott County’s jobless rate dropped to 12.5 percent, a level not seen since Christmas 2008. But the low level did not last long, as the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development estimated Scott County’s labor force much higher in June than in May — with no additional jobs to show for it.
Scott County’s seemingly arbitrary work force estimate jumped from 7,270 in May to 7,400 in June. It marked the second consecutive month of an increased labor force estimate for Scott; after dropping to an historic low in April, the local labor force estimate has increased by 270 in two months.
Last month, though, there were extra jobs to show for it; Scott County’s unemployment rate dropped to 12.5 percent in May as the state showed a gain of 190 jobs to 6,360 total employment.
A similar increase was not in store for June; in fact, the state’s numbers showed local employment declining slightly to 6,350.
Unemployment, meanwhile, increased from 910 in May to 1,050.
Scott County was not alone in its unemployment increase; each of Tennessee’s 95 counties posted increased unemployment rates in June. Scott’s jobless rate remained the state’s highest, however, ahead of Hancock County’s 12.0 percent. Lauderdale County had an unemployment rate of 11.8 percent, followed by Weakley County’s unemployment rate of 11.7 percent and Wayne County’s rate of 11.0 percent.
Pickett County’s jobless rate remained among the state’s ten highest, at 10.7 percent, but fell to No. 8 on that list.
Seventeen counties across the state posted double-digit unemployment in June.
Lincoln County showed the way with the state’s lowest unemployment rate, at 5.2 percent. Following was Williamson County at 5.4 percent, Wilson County at 5.8 percent, Sumner County at 5.9 percent, and Davidson and Rutherford counties at 6.0 percent.
Among counties neighboring Scott, Morgan County showed the largest increase, 1.3 percentage points to 9.8 percent. Following was Campbell County, with a 1.1 percentage point increase to 9.4 percent.
Anderson County’s unemployment rate increased nine-tenths of a point to 7.0 percent, while Pickett County’s was up eight-tenths of a point to 10.7 percent. Fentress County’s unemployment rate was up six-tenths of a point to 8.0 percent.
Among the state’s metropolitan areas, Nashville posted the lowest unemployment rate, at 6.0 percent. That was followed by Knoxville’s 6.4 percent, and Chattanooga’s 7.1 percent. Memphis’s unemployment rate in June was 8.7 percent.
Statewide, the unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in June, up from 6.4 percent in May. Nationally, unemployment stood at 6.1 percent in June, down two-tenths of a point from May.
One of the driving forces of the increased unemployment rate in Scott County, as was the case across the state, was the influx of new workers into the labor force in June as school ended and graduations took place.