New data released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development shows unemployment increases in nearly all of Tennessee’s 95 counties in January 2020.

Ninety-four counties experienced some level of increase during the first month of the year. Meigs County is the only county in the state where unemployment remained unchanged in January.

State officials announced that Rhea’s January unemployment rate was 5.9 percent, an increase from December 2019’s 5.3 percent. In January 2019, Rhea County’s unemployment rate was 7.3 percent.

Unemployment rates are below 5 percent in 59 counties. The rate is 5 percent or greater, but less than 10 percent, in 36 counties.

Williamson County continues to have the state’s lowest jobless numbers. Its new rate of 2.5 percent represents a 0.4 percentage point increase from December 2019, but a 0.1 percentage point decrease when comparing that figure to January 2019.

Davidson and Rutherford counties have the next lowest rates at 2.7 percent. Both counties saw an increase of 0.4 percentage points when compared to December, but a 0.1 percentage point decrease compared to a year ago.

Lincoln County has Tennessee’s highest unemployment rate in January. Its current figure of 7.5 percent represents a 1.4 percentage point increase from December and a 4.1 percentage point increase from January 2019.

Perry County’s rate is up 2.6 percentage points from December’s rate to 7.4 percent. Clay County saw an increase of 1.3 percentage points to 7.2 percent. Lake County’s new figure is 7.1 percent, up 2 percentage points from December, but down 2.7 percentage points from January 2019.

Unlike the statewide unemployment rate, county rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Statewide, January is the fifth consecutive month Tennessee recorded an unemployment rate of 3.3 percent.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate did increase between December and January by 0.1 percentage point to the new rate of 3.6 percent.

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