For the first time in recorded state history, unemployment rates in all 95 Tennessee counties fell below 5 percent in September, Gov. Bill Haslam announced last week.
September was also the fourth consecutive month that the state had a historic low statewide unemployment rate. The 3 percent statewide unemployment rate is the lowest in the Southeast and eighth lowest in the nation.
“With every county seeing unemployment rates below five percent and with a record statewide unemployment rate, Tennessee’s fiscal strength is clear and the investment in our workforce is paying off,” the Republican governor said in a news release. “Employers know that Tennessee is a place where they can find skilled workers, so they continue to expand and relocate here.”
At 2.1 percent, Williamson County had the lowest unemployment rate in September, followed by Davidson County with the second lowest at 2.2 percent.
Rhea County in East Tennessee continued to have the highest unemployment rate, but in September its rate fell from 6 percent to 4.9 percent. In January, the rate was 10.2 percent.
Haslam credited foreign investment with helping bring down unemployment rates.