2024 starts with an uptick in county unemployment rates across Tennessee

Holiday employment that ended at the start of the new year is one of the leading factors that caused an increase in county unemployment rates across Tennessee in Jan. 2024.

While statewide unemployment numbers are adjusted to consider the impacts of seasonal labor, county unemployment rates are not adjusted. Ninety-three of Tennessee’s 95 counties experienced an uptick in unemployment during January, according to new data released by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Unemployment did decrease in Fayette County during the month and remained the same in Hardeman County.

Unemployment rates came in at less than 5% in 86 counties across the state and rates were 5% or greater but less than 10% in the remaining nine counties.

Williamson County recorded the state’s lowest unemployment rate in Jan.  at 2.5%, which was an increase of 0.2 of a percentage point from December’s rate of 2.3%.

Moore, Robertson, Rutherford and Cheatham counties had the next lowest rate of 2.7%, followed by Sumner, Wilson, Dickson, Davidson, and Macon counties, which all had a rate of 2.8% for the month.

Meigs, Perry, and Cocke counties each had Tennessee’s highest unemployment rate in January at 5.7%. For Meigs County that was an increase of 1 percentage point. In Perry County, the rate increased by 1.6 percentage points. January’s rate inched up 2.1 percentage points in Cocke County.

As reported February 29, Tennessee’s statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January increased 0.1 of a percentage point to 3.5%. Nationally, seasonally adjusted unemployment remained unchanged between December and January at 3.7%.

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