Unemployment rates below 5 percent for nearly every Tennessee county


(June 22, 2023) Ninety-three of Tennessee’s 95 counties recorded unemployment rates below 5% in May, according to new Department of Labor and Workforce Development data. Two counties, Bledsoe and Scott, did have rates just above the 5% mark.

While the statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady in May at 3.3%, for the second consecutive month, individual county jobless numbers did inch up slightly in all but one county. Those numbers are not seasonally adjusted to take into account seasonal interruptions in employment, such as summer breaks for schools or severe weather events.

Moore County recorded the state’s lowest unemployment rate in May at 2.4%, which was 0.4 of a percentage point higher than the previous month. Williamson County came in with the second-lowest rate for the month at 2.5%, an increase of 0.6 of percentage point when compared to its rate in April.

Bledsoe and Scott counties had Tennessee’s highest unemployment numbers, each with rates of 5.3%. For Bledsoe County, that added up to a 0.7 of a percentage point increase in May, while in Scott County, the rate jumped up 1.6 percentage points from 3.7% in April.

Tennesseans ages 14 through 24 can gain valuable work experience through the state’s new Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). They can also earn up to $16 an hour while working for businesses in their area of the state. The program also benefits employers. SYEP covers all employee costs and handles the administrative functions for each participant. Detailed information on how interested youth or employers can participate in the program is located on the SYEP page.


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