Scott County’s unemployment rate remained below five percent for a third consecutive month in October, according to new figures released last week by the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.
The local unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in October, according to the state’s figures, unchanged from September’s unemployment rate.
The number of unemployed workers was also unchanged, at 400, while the number of workers gainfully employed rose slightly from 7,950 to 7,970. The local work force was estimated at 8,370 in October.
The local jobless rate dropped to an all-time low of 3.6 percent in May and has held mostly steady since, though it was briefly above 5 percent in June and July.
Scott County was one of 36 counties statewide with an unchanged unemployment rate in October. The jobless rate decreased in 26 counties and increased in 33 counties.
Three of those counties with an increased unemployment rate share a border with Scott County, though the increases were slight. In Anderson County, unemployment rose from 4.0 percent to 4.2 percent between September and October. In Campbell County, the unemployment rate was up one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.0 percent. Morgan County’s jobless rate increased two-tenths of a point to 4.7 percent.
In Fentress County, unemployment decreased slightly in October, dropping from 4.4 percent to 4.3 percent. Pickett County, like Scott County, experienced an unchanged unemployment rate, at 4.2 percent.
The state’s lowest unemployment rate was seen in Williamson County, at 2.7 percent; the highest unemployment rate was 6.8 percent, in Lauderdale County.
Most of the state’s 10 lowest unemployment rates by county were centered around the Nashville metropolitan area, with the exception of Knox and Sevier counties in East Tennessee. Most of the 10 highest unemployment rates were clustered in West Tennessee, with the exception of Hancock County and Bledsoe County.
Trailing Williamson County for the state’s lowest unemployment rate was Davidson and Rutherford counties, at 2.9 percent. Cheatham, Sumner and Sevier counties posted unemployment rates of 3.0 percent in October, while the jobless rate was 3.1 percent in Wilson and Smith counties. Rounding out the 10 lowest unemployment rates were Knox and Moore counties, at 3.2 percent.
Just behind Lauderdale County for the state’s highest jobless rate was Bledsoe County, at 6.1 percent. Hardeman and Obion counties each had unemployment rates of 5.6 percent in October, followed by McNairy County at 5.5 percent. The jobless rate was 5.4 percent in Haywood and Carroll counties, and 5.1 percent in Hancock, Benton and Lake counties.
Among the state’s major metropolitan areas, Nashville continued to have the lowest unemployment, at 2.9 percent. Knoxville’s jobless rate was 3.5 percent in October, followed by Chattanooga at 3.7 percent and Memphis at 4.2 percent.
Statewide, seasonally-adjusted unemployment was up slightly in October, to 3.7 percent, an increase of a tenth of a percentage point. Nationally, the unemployment rate was steady at 3.7 percent.
“While the unemployment situation is holding steady in a majority of the state’s counties, we do have areas that experienced an uptick in unemployment last month,” said Tennessee’s commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development, Burns Phillips. “We need to take a look at those counties and work with our local partners to see what we can do to increase access to new jobs for all Tennesseans.”