Unemployment dropped in more than one-third of Tennessee’s 95 counties in November 2019, according to recently released data from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD). Rates decreased in 38 counties, remained the same in 24 counties, and increased in 33 counties during the month of November. The data showed that there were 91 counties across the state with rates less than 5 percent and only four counties with rates greater than 5 percent.
“It’s very encouraging to have so many counties with unemployment rates below 5 percent during November,” said TDLWD Commissioner Jeff McCord. “As we moved closer to the busy holiday season, more Tennesseans were taking home paychecks, which is the ultimate goal.”
Wayne County’s unemployment rate for the month of November 2019 was 4.5 percent, dropping one-tenth of a percent from October. However, Wayne County still ranked ninth in the top ten counties with the highest unemployment rates for the month across the state. Data showed that Wayne County had a labor force of 6,211 in November, with 5,932 employed and 279 unemployed. The unemployment rate in Wayne County one year ago in November 2018 was 3.9 percent.
November unemployment rates in surrounding counties were lower than in Wayne, with Lawrence County coming in at 3.7 percent, Hardin County at 3.9 percent, and Perry County at 4.2 percent. Neighboring Decatur County had a rate close to Wayne County’s in November, coming in at 4.4 percent.
Williamson County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in November at 2.2 percent. That figure is down 0.1 of a percentage point when compared to October.
Clay County experienced an increase in unemployment, giving the county the state’s highest unemployment rate in November. Its rate jumped from 5.2 percent in October to 5.9 percent in November. Hancock, Hardeman, and Bledsoe counties followed Clay County with rates of 5 percent. Lauderdale, McNairy, Rhea, Lake, Wayne, and Decatur rounded out the top ten counties with the highest unemployment rates.
The United States’ unemployment rate for November was 3.5 percent, 0.1 of a percentage point lower than it was in October.
For a full breakdown of unemployment in Tennessee counties, visit www.tn.gov/workforce.