March Unemployment Rates: 89 Counties Decrease, 5 Increase, 1 Holds Steady

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development; April 26, 2012:

Rate Decreases in 89 Counties, Increases in Five, and Remains the Same in One

NASHVILLE – County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for March 2012, released today, show the rate decreased in 89 counties, increased in five counties, and remained the same in one county. Specific county information is available on the Internet; enter http://www.tn.gov/labor-wfd/labor_figures/Labor Force Estimates Mar ’12.pdf.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate for March fell to 7.9 percent, down from the February revised rate of 8.0 percent. The national unemployment rate for March 2012 was 8.2 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than the February rate.

The state unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted while the county unemployment rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from economic time series.

Lowest County Unemployment Rates                       Highest County Unemployment Rates 
1. Williamson County         5.2                       95. Scott County             17.1
2. Knox County               5.7                       94. Obion County             15.2
3. Lincoln County            5.8                       93. Pickett County           13.9
4. Washington County         6.5                       92. Lauderdale County        12.8
5. Wilson County             6.6                       91. Perry County             12.3
6. Rutherford County         6.6                       90. Cocke County             12.2 
7. Davidson County           6.6                       89. Marshall County          12.1
8. Loudon County             6.7                       88. Weakley County           11.8
9. Sumner County             6.8                       87. Haywood County           11.7
10. Blount County            7.1                       86. Jefferson County         11.5

Knox County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate of 5.7 percent, down from 6.1 percent in February. Davidson County was 6.6 percent, down from 7.0 percent in the previous month. Hamilton County was 7.4 percent, down from 7.6 percent, and Shelby County was 9.1 percent, down from the February unemployment rate of 9.2 percent.

County Unemployment Rate Range               February 2012      March 2012 
Rate less than 5.0%                            0 counties         0 counties
Rate is 5.0% or greater, but less than 10.0%  47 counties        60 counties
Rate is 10.0% or greater                      48 counties        35 counties
Rate is 20.0% or greater                       0 counties         0 counties