Spike in jobless rate hits Spencer
By Bobby Lee McCulley | March 22, 2018 9:59 am
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development recently released county unemployment statistics for January 2018, with Van Buren County experiencing an increase of over 1 percent in its jobless rate.
According to monthly data released last week, the vast majority of the state’s 95 counties, including Van Buren, continue to record unemployment rates under 5 percent.
“Because of seasonal employment trends, Tennessee typically sees a slight uptick in county unemployment at the start of the year,” explained Burns Phillips, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development commissioner. “But the year-to-year comparison of statistics shows just how well the state is doing when it comes to job creation.”
Many counties saw a decrease of 2 percent or more in year-to-year comparisons. Compared to 2017, Van Buren County recorded a 1.4 percent decrease in its overall unemployment rate.
In Van Buren County, for January 2018, the unemployment rate was recorded at 4.7 percent. This reflects an increase of 1.1 percent from December 2017.
Van Buren County’s neighbors – White, Warren, Bledsoe, and Sequatchie counties – also recorded an increase in their monthly unemployment figures. Counties that are of similar population size of Van Buren recording rates well above 5 percent were Clay County at 5.6 percent, Lake County at 6.4 percent, and Houston County at 6.8 percent.
The highest unemployment rate in the neighboring region for January 2018 was recorded by Bledsoe County at 6.2 percent, one of the very few counties with a rate over 5 percent. Nearby Sequatchie County recorded a January 2018 unemployment rate of 4.8 percent, and Warren County recorded 4.1 percent for its unemployment rate.
Williamson County continues to have Tennessee’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.5 percent, which is still a slight 0.3 percent increase from December 2017.
At 2.7 percent, Davidson and Cheatham counties tied for the second lowest unemployment rates in the state. Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Moore, Knox, Robertson, and Lincoln counties rounded out the list of the top 10 lowest unemployment rates in Tennessee.
“This is a great example of how Tennessee’s economy is not only strong in its metropolitan areas, but it is also doing well in many of the state’s more rural counties,” Phillips said.
Tennessee had a statewide unemployment rate of 3.3 percent in January, which was the sixth lowest in the nation. The national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent last month.