Statewide Unemployment Rates Up Slightly In June

County Rates Impacted by Annual Increase in Seasonal Layoffs across Tennessee

NASHVILLE–The unem-ployment rate increased in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties in June 2017, according to data released last week by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD).

The county unemploy-ment rates are not seasonally adjusted, whereas the state unemployment rate is modified to account for seasonal fluctuations.

“We’ve seen this type of increase in the June county unemployment rates every year since the state started keeping records in 1976,” said TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips.

The county rates take into account seasonal workers who are temporarily out of work.  Between May and June, education service jobs were down by 35,100.  These are custodians, bus drivers and other school support staff who are not working during the summer months.

June is also typically the month when recent high school and college graduates enter the workforce and have yet to find employment, adding to the jobless count across the state.

Davidson County has the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate at 3.1 percent, an increase from 2.1 percent during the prior month. Knox County’s rate is 3.7 percent, rising from 2.5 percent in May. Hamilton County rose from its previous month’s rate of 2.8 to 4.1 percent.  Shelby County has an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent, an increase from May’s 3.4 percent.

Figures released for Fentress County reflected an unemployment rate of 5.2% in June, up 1.5% from May, with 6,560 workers employed out of a total work force of 6,920.

Figures released for adjoining counties reflected the following rates for June:

Cumberland – 4.8%, up from 3.3% in May.

Morgan – 5.5%, up from 3.7% in May.

Overton – 4.7%, up from 3.3% in May.

Pickett – 5.0%, up from 4.1% in May.

Putnam – 4.5%, up from 3.0% in May.

Scott – 5.8%, up from 4.2% in May.

“These figures most likely raised a few eyebrows when people first saw them, because May was such stellar month in Tennessee,” Commissioner Phillips explained.  “But I looked at the county numbers for June 2016 and rates then were significantly higher than they are today.  So even with this current up-tick between May to June, Tennessee is still in far better shape than a year ago.”

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.