Scott County was able to buck a statewide trend in May by avoiding an increased unemployment rate.
But the number of working Scott Countians did dip in May, according to the most recent set of numbers released last week by the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development, marking the first time this calendar year that employment has declined locally.
According to the state’s numbers, Scott County’s unemployment rate was steady from April to May, at 3.6 percent — the all-time lowest rate recorded locally. That helped Scott County avoid being one of 75 counties across the state with an increased unemployment rate in May, a month that typically features increased unemployment.
But the number of working Scott Countians dipped from 8,060 to 8,010 in May, the first such decrease since December, when the number of working Scott Countians dropped from 7,680 to 7,640.
The decrease in employment was offset by an adjustment to the county’s estimated work force in May, with the state’s estimate dipping from 8,360 to 8,310. The number of unemployed Scott Countians was steady at 300.
Most neighboring counties saw minor increases to their unemployment rates in May. Anderson County’s jobless rate was up two-tenths of a point to 3.2 percent, Campbell County’s was up a tenth of a point to 4.0 percent, and Morgan County’s was up a tenth of a percent to 3.9 percent.
Pickett County, like Scott County, posted a steady unemployment rate in May, at 2.6 percent. Fentress County was one of just seven counties across Tennessee with a decreased unemployment rate in May, down two tenths of a point to 3.3 percent.
Ninety-three of Tennessee’s 95 counties continue to see unemployment rates less than five percent. The only two to stand out are Lauderdale County, at 5.3 percent, and Houston County, at 5.2 percent.
Other counties posting high unemployment rates are Bledsoe County and Haywood County at 4.9 percent, Rhea County at 4.8 percent, McNairy County at 4.6 percent, Van Buren and Stewart counties at 4.4 percent, and Wayne and Henderson counties at 4.2 percent.
The state’s lowest unemployment rate continues to be posted by Williamson County, at 2.1 percent, followed by Davidson County at 2.2 percent and Rutherford and Wilson counties at 2.3 percent. Sumner, Cheatham and Smith counties all have unemployment rates of 2.4 percent, followed by Knox and Sevier counties at 2.5 percent. Dickson County rounds out the state’s 10 lowest unemployment rates, at 2.6 percent.
Among the state’s metropolitan areas, Nashville continues to show the way at 2.3 percent unemployment, followed by Knoxville at 2.7 percent, Chattanooga at 3.1 percent and Memphis at 3.8 percent.
The statewide unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in May. The national unemployment rate is currently 3.8 percent.