Most of Tennessee’s 95 counties started 2021 with lower unemployment numbers, according to data released by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Seventy-eight counties began the new year with a decrease in unemployment. The jobless rate remained the same in seven counties and increased in ten counties.
Rates in 24 counties came in under 5% for the month. The remaining counties, 71 out of the 95, have rates higher than 5%, but less than 10%.
Williamson County recorded the state’s lowest unemployment rate. The new rate of 3.2% is down 0.6 of a percentage point from the December 2020 statistic. Moore County followed Williamson with a rate of 3.8%, down 0.3 of a percentage point from December. Cheatham County had the third-lowest rate at 3.9%, a decrease from 4.4%. Rutherford County fell to position number eight on the unemployment list with a rating of 4.2% jobless rate.
Looking back to January 2020, Rutherford County had an unemployment rate of only 2.8%.
Looking at higher percentages, Cocke County had Tennessee’s highest unemployment in January. It increased by 2 percentage points in January to 8.5%. Lake County's rate was the second-highest at 8.4 percent, which represents a 0.8 of a percentage point drop from December’s rate of 9.2%. Hardeman County had the third-highest rate, but at 7.8%, the county saw unemployment drop by 0.1 of a percentage point.
Statewide, unemployment was down in January. Tennessee started 2021 with a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.1%, down 0.5 of a percentage point from December.
The national unemployment rate for January is 6.3%, down 0.4 of a percentage point.
The Department has compiled a comprehensive analysis of the January 2021 county unemployment data the public can access here.
Tennesseans searching for employment can find over 230,000 job openings for every skill level, in every area of the state, on Jobs4TN.gov. They can also utilize the service matcher, which can help remove barriers to employment by matching the job seeker with services from several state agencies. The service matcher is located within the virtual American Job Center at TNVirtualAJC.com.