The number of people filing for unemployment insurance benefits in Scott County has risen sharply over the past two weeks, according to data from the TN Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development.
There were 150 initial claims filed for the week ending Feb. 20, followed by 148 initial claims filed for the week ending Feb. 27.
Prior to that, there were only 33 new claims filed for the week ending Feb. 13.
There were 245 continued claims filed for the week ending Feb. 27, up from 183 continued claims filed for the week ending Feb. 20.
The total number of unemployment claims filed in Scott County last week, 393, was the highest since the week ending Sept. 5, when there were 451 total claims filed. There was a week in early January, just after the holiday season, when 375 total claims were filed.
The 150 new claims filed in Scott County for the week ending Feb. 20 was the highest number of initial claims in a single week since the week ending April 18, 2020, when 200 new claims were filed. There were more than 1,000 total claims filed that week, as the impact of the coronavirus-related shutdown continued to hit home. The unemployment rate would spike to 17% that month.
A less pronounced rise in unemployment claims has been seen statewide. There were 12,077 claims filed statewide for the week ending Feb. 20, up from 8,116 the previous week. There were 10,355 initial claims filed for the week ending Feb. 27.
There were more than 65,000 total claims filed last week, up from just over 60,000 the previous week and 57,000 the week before that.
There have been a total of 1,084,738 unemployment claims filed in Tennessee since the pandemic began on March 16, 2020. For the most recent week, Tennessee paid out 124,661 unemployment claims, totaling more than $83.6 million.