Scott County’s unemployment rate jumped considerably in June, to 6.4%, up 1.2 percentage points from the previous month.
According to new numbers released Thursday by the TN Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development, the local jobless rate increase was part of a greater statewide trend that saw increased unemployment rates in all 95 counties.
Unemployment rates typically increase in June, after schools have closed for the summer and laid off workers. Additionally, new workers are entering the work force after graduation.
Scott County’s estimated work force for June was 8,186, up slightly from 8,172 in May. The number of working Scott Countians dipped from 7,746 to 7,663, while the number of unemployed Scott Countians increased from 426 to 523.
In spite of the unemployment rate increase, Scott County’s jobless rate remains well below where it was at in June 2020, when it stood at 10.3%.
Among neighboring counties, Anderson County saw its unemployment rate jump 1.2 percentage points to 5.4%, Campbell County’s jobless rate was up 1.3 percentage points to 6.7%, Pickett County’s jobless rate was also up 1.3 percentage points to 5.7%, and Fentress County’s unemployment rate was up 1.4 percentage points to 5.6%. Morgan County experienced the lowest unemployment rate increase, up an even percentage point to 5.8%.
As a result of the across-the-board unemployment rate increases, there are now just 19 counties in Tennessee with unemployment rates less than 5%.
Tennessee’s lowest unemployment rate in June was once again found in Williamson County, at 3.4%, followed by Moore County at 3.8%. Cheatham and Wilson counties each posted unemployment rates of 4.2%, while the jobless rate in Sevier and Robertson counties was 4.4%. Rounding out the state’s 10 lowest unemployment rates were Sumner, Rutherford and Knox counties at 4.5%, and Smith County at 4.6%.
The state’s highest unemployment rate in June was in Perry County, where the jobless rate jumped more than five percentage points to 13.0%. The next-highest rate was 8.1%, found in Lauderdale and Grundy counties. Shelby and Haywood counties had an unemployment rate of 8.0%. Rounding out the state’s 10 highest unemployment rates were McNairy, Hardeman and Decatur counties at 7.6%, and Bledsoe and Lake counties at 7.5%.
Tennessee is slowly returning to pre-pandemic norms in terms of where the state’s lowest unemployment rates are found — centered in the Nashville metropolitan area, with Knox and Sevier counties being the only two exceptions. The state’s highest unemployment rates are scattered throughout West Tennessee and along the southern Cumberland Plateau region.
Among major metropolitan areas, Nashville-Murfreesboro had a collective unemployment rate of 3.8% in June, followed closely by Chattanooga and Knoxville, each at 3.9%. The unemployment rate in Memphis was 6.3%.
The statewide unemployment rate actually decreased in June, from 5.0% to 4.9%. The reason the statewide unemployment rate decreased while every county’s unemployment rate increased is that the statewide rate is seasonally-adjusted, meaning it takes into account things like annual school closures.
The national unemployment rate ticked up slightly in June, from 5.8% to 5.9%.