By Amye Anderson
UCBJ Managing Editor
UPPER CUMBERLAND – It’s the first time the unemployment rate dropped below five percent in every Tennessee county. Ever. Even better, no UC county reported an unemployment rate above four percent for the month of September.
Earlier this week, the UCBJ reported on the state’s record-setting overall unemployment rate. At three percent, Tennessee has the lowest unemployment rate in the southeast and the eighth lowest rate in the nation.
“With every county seeing unemployment rates below five percent and with a record statewide unemployment rate, Tennessee’s fiscal strength is clear and the investment in our workforce is paying off,” Gov. Bill Haslam said. “Employers know that Tennessee is a place where they can find skilled workers, so they continue to expand and relocate here.”
This is the fourth time this year unemployment rates fell in all 95 counties; Rates also dropped in every county in February, April and August.
“Many of the most notable decreases in September took place in counties with the highest unemployment rates, pointing out the economic growth and opportunity in some of Tennessee’s most distressed counties,” said Burns Phillips, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development commissioner.
The improved county statistics for September mark the fourth consecutive month the state experienced a record low statewide unemployment rate. Nationally speaking, the unemployment rate also dropped to 4.2 percent for the same month.
Locally, unemployment rates continued to fall from the previous month for all UC counties, according to preliminary numbers reported by the state.
Preliminary September 2017 UC per-county unemployment rates are:
• Cannon 2.7%
• Clay 3.6%
• Cumberland 3.3%
• DeKalb 3.7%
• Fentress 3.6%
• Jackson 3.7%
• Macon 2.7%
• Overton 3.2%
• Pickett 3.0%
• Putnam 2.8%
• Smith 2.6%
• Van Buren 3.4%
• Warren 3.0%
• White 3.2%
While statewide and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted, county rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, and other recurring seasonal events.