By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor
UPPER CUMBERLAND – Unemployment rates remained fairly constant for all counties across the Upper Cumberland in September. Rates dropped 0.1 percentage point for both the region and the state bringing them to 4.0 percent and 3.7 percent respectively. The nation’s jobless rate dropped .3 percentage points bringing it to 3.6 percent, the lowest it has been since December 1969.
“It’s encouraging to see so many counties report lower unemployment rates for the second consecutive month,” said TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips. “Many of the counties with the state’s highest unemployment still experienced a decrease in September.”
Smith County was again tied for the eighth lowest rate in Tennessee at 3.2 percent for the second straight month. The county’s unemployment rate is consistently the lowest in the Upper Cumberland.
“While these latest numbers are encouraging, there are still thousands of Tennesseans who are looking for a job,” Phillips said. “No matter what the unemployment rate, this department counties to work day in and day out to enhance workforce development and access to employment across Tennessee.”
Van Buren County, at 5.2 percent, was one of only 16 counties in Tennessee that had an unemployment rate above 5 percent last month.
Three counties had lower rates than the state average of 3.7 percent: Smith (3.2), Cannon (3.5) and Macon (3.5). Putnam County tied the state rate at 3.7 percent.
Rates for the other counties in the Upper Cumberland region were Clay (4.5), Cumberland (4.3), DeKalb (4.5), Fentress (4.4), Jackson (4.9), Overton (4.0), Pickett (4.2), Warren (4.1) and White (3.9).
*Rates are not seasonally adjusted.