After Steady Declines, Unemployment Ticks up Slightly

Unemployment has been dropping across the nation and locally for several months, but the latest figures from December show slight increases.

Williamson County still leads the state with the lowest unemployment, and Middle Tennessee as a whole continues to enjoy unemployment rates well below the national rate of 4.7 percent.

Williamson County reported 3.5 percent unemployment, up a tenth from 3.4 percent in November, meaning that 3,740 of the estimated labor force of 111,440 was looking for work.

For the month of December, Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate at 3.6 percent, increasing from 3.5 percent the previous month. Knox County was 4.1 percent, an increase from the previous month’s 3.9 percent. The Hamilton County rate was 4.8 percent, increasing from a previous rate of 4.6 percent. Shelby County had a 5.5 percent rate, increasing from November’s 5.3 percent.

The Tennessee and U.S. preliminary unemployment rates for December were 4.9 and 4.7 percent, respectively, increasing one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month’s revised rate.

Franklin reflected the lowest unemployment in the state among cities with 25,000 residents for more. The rate was 3.3 percent for Franklin. Brentwood and Spring Hill both reported 3.6 percent. Memphis, in West Tennessee, and Morristown, in East Tennessee, tied for the highest rate, with 6.0 percent.

Lake County, in northwest Tennessee, reported 10.2 percent.


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