By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor
NASHVILLE – Although unemployment rates dropped across the Upper Cumberland, Clay County continued to have the highest rate in Tennessee at 5.6 percent according to April data released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD).
“County unemployment rates continue to be extraordinarily positive,” said TDLWD Commissioner Jeff McCord. “Across our state, we are now seeing unemployment rates at or below 5 percent become the norm.”
Statewide, unemployment remained at the historically low rate of 3.2 percent for the third straight month. The number of unemployed statewide rose by only 700 to 106,600 while the labor force increased by 15,300 to 3.3 million.
The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent from 3.8 percent in the previous month. It was the lowest jobless rate since December 1969, as the number of unemployed persons went down by 387,000 to 5.8 million while employment declined by 103,000 to 156.6 million.
Cannon and Smith counties had the lowest rates in the U.C. at 2.4 percent. Clay County had the highest rate in the state at 5.6 percent, which is a 0.4 percentage point decrease from the previous month, and was the only U.C. county with a rate over 4 percent.
Rates across the remaining U.C. counties include Cumberland (3.4), DeKalb (3.4), Fentress (3.1), Jackson (3.7), Macon (2.5), Overton (2.9), Pickett (3.7), Van Buren (3.5), Warren (3.2) and White (2.9).
County unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted, while the state and national rates use the seasonal adjustment to eliminate outside influences on the statistics.