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Unemployment rates drop in every Tennessee County

By Jill Penley

Each of Tennessee’s 95 counties experienced lower unemployment in November 2018 according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD). Ninety-one counties, including Johnson County, had an unemployment rate of five percent or lower during the month and only four counties had a rate higher than five percent.
“It’s very encouraging to have so many counties with unemployment rates below five percent during November,” said TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips. “That means more Tennesseans were working and taking home a paycheck as we headed into the holiday season.”
Williamson County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.5 percent, which was 0.2 of a percentage point lower than the previous month. Both Davidson and Rutherford counties had a rate of 2.6 percent in November, a drop of 0.3 percent for each county. Johnson County showed an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent unemployment, which was 0.1 of a percentage point lower than the previous month and 0.1 of a percentage
point lower than November 2017.
The annual “average wage” of a full-time employee in Johnson County in November 2018 was $759 per week, which would equate to an average yearly salary of $39,468. In 2017, the average annual salary of a full-time worker in the county was $32,994.
The counties with the state’s highest unemployment still experienced significant drops in their rates. While Lauderdale County had the highest jobless rate in November at 5.8 percent, that figure is a percentage point lower than the previous month. Bledsoe County’s unemployment rate dropped nearly a full percentage point from 6.1 percent to 5.2 percent. McNairy County went from 5.5 percent in October to 5 percent in November.
Tennessee’s seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate for November decreased from 3.7 percent to 3.6 percent. Nationally, unemployment held steady for the third consecutive month at 3.7 percent.