Unemployment rate continues to fall in Wilson, across state

Jared Felkins • Updated Nov 1, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced Thursday unemployment rates decreased last month in all 95 counties and significantly dropped in many rural counties for the second consecutive month.

The county figures were released one week after the state posted a September statewide unemployment rate of 3 percent – the lowest in recorded history. August’s rate of 3.3 percent was previously the lowest in history. Tennessee has the lowest unemployment in the Southeast and the eighth lowest rate in the nation.

This is the fourth time in 2017 in which county unemployment rates decreased statewide. The rates also dropped in all 95 counties in February, April and August.

“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,” Haslam said. “Employers know that Tennessee is a place where they can find skilled workers, so they continue to expand and relocate here.”

Williamson County had the lowest unemployment rate in September with 2.1 percent, followed by Davidson County at 2.2 percent and Rutherford, Cheatham, Wilson and Sumner counties each at 2.3 percent. 

Rhea County continued to have the highest percentage of unemployed workers in Tennessee, but in September its rate fell from 6 percent to 4.9 percent.  In January, Rhea County recorded a 10.2 percent unemployment rate. Each of the counties with the highest unemployment rates in the state saw similar decreases in September.

“Many of the most notable decreases in September took place in counties with the highest unemployment rates, pointing out the economic growth and opportunity in some of Tennessee’s most distressed counties,” Phillips said.

Wilson County’s unemployment rate in September was a 0.6 decrease from August and a 0.4 percent decrease from July and June. In September 2016, the county’s unemployment rate was 4.3 percent. 

Wilson County’s rate in August represented 1,990 unemployed workers compared to a 69,360-person workforce and does not include those who did not file with the labor department or no longer receive benefits.

Lebanon’s rate for September decreased to 2.7 percent, a 0.5 percent drop from August. The city’s rate represented 390 unemployed workers compared to a 14,660-person labor force. 

Mt. Juliet’s rate for September landed at 2.3 percent, a 0.4 percent decrease from August. The rate represented 400 unemployed workers compared to a 17,530-person work force.

The unemployment rate for Nashville-Murfreesboro metropolitan area, which includes Wilson County, in September decreased to 2.3 percent, a 0.5 percent drop from August. The rate represented 23,240 unemployed workers compared to a just more than 1 million-person workforce.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate for September shrunk 0.3 percent from August and landed at 3 percent. The statewide rate represented 95,900 jobless workers compared to a 3.84-million-person workforce.

The national unemployment rate for September was 4.2 percent, a 0.2 percent increase from August. The national rate represents more than 6.8 million unemployed workers compared to a workforce of just more than 161 million people.

The statewide and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted, but the county rates are not. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique that eliminates the influences of weather, holidays, opening and closing of schools and other recurring seasonal events from an economic time series.

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