Scott County’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in March, from 4.7 percent to 4.4 percent, according to numbers released last week by the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.
Despite the decline, no new jobs were added in March, temporarily halting a trend that had seen Scott County add to its list of employed workers in four out of the past six months. The number of working Scott Countians was unchanged from February to March, at 7,930.
Instead, the slight decrease in the unemployment rate was due to a slight decline in the number of unemployed workers. The number of unemployed laborers declined from 390 in February to 370 in March, as those workers fell off the work force rolls. The total estimated work force for Scott County dropped from 8,320 to 8,300.
Still, Scott County marked its 14th consecutive month of single-digit unemployment after once posting one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates, and remained below five percent unemployment for a record-setting seventh consecutive month.
Scott County was one of 82 counties across the state to post a decreased unemployment rate in March. The jobless rate increased in just four counties, and is now below five percent in 84 of Tennessee’s 95 counties.
Pickett County saw the largest decrease in the local region in March, as its unemployment rate dropped six-tenths of a percentage point to 3.5 percent. In Morgan County, the unemployment rate dropped four-tenths of a point to 4.3 percent.
Like Scott County, Campbell County saw its unemployment rate drop three-tenths of a point to 4.8 percent. Anderson and Fentress counties saw more modest unemployment declines, down a tenth of a percentage point to 3.7 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively.
Williamson County continued to post the state’s lowest unemployment rate, at 2.5 percent. The jobless rate was 2.6 percent in Davidson and Rutherford counties, and 2.7 percent in Wilson and Cheatham counties. Rounding out the Top 10 lowest unemployment rates were Sumner County at 2.8 percent, Knox County at 2.9 percent, Dickson County at 3.0 percent, and Moore and Lincoln counties at 3.1 percent.
Houston and Bledsoe counties tied for the state’s highest unemployment rate, at 5.8 percent, followed by Rhea County at 5.7 percent, and McNairy and Lauderdale counties at 5.5 percent. Rounding out the Top 10 highest unemployment rates were Haywood County at 5.4 percent, Decatur County at 5.3 percent, Lake County at 5.2 percent, Stewart County at 5.1 percent and Hardeman County at 5.0 percent.
Among major metropolitan areas, Nashville continued to post the state’s lowest unemployment rate, at 2.7 percent, followed by Knoxville at 3.2 percent, Chattanooga at 3.5 percent and Memphis at 3.9 percent.
The statewide unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in March, while the nationwide rate was 4.1 percent.