Only Two Tennessee Counties Saw Unemployment Rates Above Five Percent in May

New data released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) on Thursday showed unemployment rates increased slightly during May in each of the state’s 95 counties. However, even with the minimal increases, 93 of Tennessee’s 95 counties maintained rates lower than 5% for the month.

Perry County and Bledsoe County were the only two counties in the state with unemployment rates above 5% for the month of May, according to TDLWD data. Perry County’s rate came in at 5.5%, the highest in the state. That represented a 0.4 of a percentage point increase from April’s rate of 5.1%. Bledsoe County had the second-highest rate in May at 5.1%, also a 0.4 of a percentage point increase for the month.

The counties following Perry and Bledsoe with the highest rates for May include Shelby (4.9%), Lake (4.9%), Cocke (4.8%), Decatur (4.8%), Scott (4.8%), Lauderdale (4.7%), McNairy (4.6%), and Grundy (4.6%).

Williamson County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the state for May. At 2.3%, its rate increased 0.3 of a percentage point from April’s revised rate of 2%. Moore County had the second-lowest rate at 2.5%, a 0.4 of a percentage point increase when compared to the previous month.

The counties following Williamson and Moore with the lowest rates for May include Wilson (2.6%), Cheatham (2.6%), Sumner (2.7%), Rutherford (2.7%), Sevier (2.8%), Knox (2.8%), Robertson (2.8%), and Hickman (2.8%).

The trend follows the state’s overall unemployment rate slightly increased in May, as The Tennessee Star previously reported. Data from TDLWD indicated Tennessee’s unemployment rate for May 2022 increased slightly to 3.3% – up just 0.1 of a percentage point from March and April’s record-breaking rate of 3.2%.

Nationally, the unemployment rate for the United States was unchanged in May, mirroring the seasonally adjusted April rate of 3.6%, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to TDLWD, the state of Tennessee will release the statewide unemployment data for June 2022 on July 21.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.



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