County Unemployment Rates Improve Across Much of Tennessee

Thursday, August 24, 2017 | 1:30pm

July 2017 Reflects a Positive Shift in 40 Tennessee Counties

NASHVILLE – Amid historic lows in statewide unemployment figures, Tennessee’s county unemployment rates for July 2017 showed improvement in a large number of counties, according to data released today by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD).

Forty of Tennessee’s 95 counties bettered their unemployment rates, compared to June 2017 and 31 counties saw no movement during the latest survey. Twenty-four counties did experience a small uptick in the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment figures.

Davidson County has the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate at 3.1 percent, matching the revised rate reported for June 2017. Knox County’s rate for July held steady at 3.7 percent.  Hamilton and Shelby counties also remain at the prior month’s revised rates of 4.1 and 4.8, respectively.

County Unemployment Rates

“The summer months typically have higher county unemployment rates because they are not adjusted for seasonal workers,” said TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips.  “It is a positive sign that nearly three-quarters of the counties across the state saw their unemployment rates decrease or remain the same as they were in June”. 

Specific county information for the month of May is available online at

Rate Range

Preliminary unemployment rates have fallen for both Tennessee and the United States. Decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point, the state rate is 3.4 percent for July. The national rate fell a tenth of a percentage point to 4.3 percent for the month.

The state and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted, while the county unemployment 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 economic time series.

The Economic Analysis and Labor Force Estimates are prepared by the Employment Security division’s labor market information specialists. The division reports metrics and contextual information as it relates to employment, income, and population in Tennessee. Economical issues are narrated in monthly newsletters and additional resources are available on The state unemployment release for August 2017 will be published on Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. CT.


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