County unemployment rate falls

Jeff Whitten

The non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for McNairy County in May was 11.2 percent, down from 11.5 percent in April, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The rate has only fallen a half a percentage point over the past year.

The labor force increased by 70 to 11,140 from the previous month. The number of people employed increased 100 to 9,890 from April. There were 1,250 McNairy Countians unemployed in May, down by 20 over the past month.

Of surrounding counties, only Chester County’s unemployment rate of 9.5 percent was lower. Alcorn County’s rate was the same, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. Hardin County’s unemployment rate was slightly higher at 11.3 percent and Hardeman County had the highest unemployment rate of these counties at 13.1 percent.

Tennessee’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 9.7 percent and the national rate was 9.1 percent. Both were up 0.1 percentage points from the previous month.

Unemployment rates fell in 56 counties, rose in 24 and stayed the same in 15.

Lincoln County’s unemployment rate of 6.1 percent was the lowest in the state, and it fell by 0.5 from April. Williamson County had the second lowest rate of 6.6 percent, and it was down from 7 percent over the past month.

Scott County’s 20.8 percent unemployment rate was the highest in the state, though it was down 1.3 percentage points from April. Lauderdale County had the second highest unemployment rate at 14.8 percent, and this was unchanged from the previous month.

Of the four metropolitan counties, Knox had the lowest rate of 7.4 percent, followed by Hamilton County (Chattanooga) at 8.2 percent,  Davidson County (Nashville) at 8.6 percent and Shelby County at 10 percent.

Knox County’s rate also fell the most, by 0.3 percentage points, followed by a drop of 0.2 percentage points in Davidson County. Hamilton and Shelby County’s unemployment rates were the same as last month.