Image: An employee working at Triple C Machine in Overton County. Triple C Machine is a tool and die company operated by a TCAT graduate that also recruits and hires all of its employees from the local TCAT in Overton County. Image Credit: Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development / Facebook
The Center Square [By Jon Styf] –
Only one Tennessee county, Perry, now has an unemployment rate higher than 5% according to new data released for April from Tennessee’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Williamson County had the lowest unemployment rate at 2% while Moore (2.1%), Wilson (2.3%), Chester (2.4%) and Sumner (2.4%) counties had the next lowest rates while several counties were at 2.5%.
Tennessee overall is at an all-time low unemployment rate of 3.2%, the same it was at in March. The national unemployment rate sits at 3.6%.
In April, 12 Tennessee counties saw their unemployment rates drop while 60 saw slight increases and 23 counties remained the same.
In a recent WalletHub survey, Tennessee was ranked as having the 19th-best unemployment rate recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in the nation.
“In order to identify the states whose unemployment rates are bouncing back most, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on six key metrics that compare unemployment rate statistics from the latest month for which data is available (April 2022) to key dates in 2019, 2020 and 2021,” the report said.
Tennessee has shown 78.5% improvement since April 2020 with its unemployment rate and 2.7% improvement since April 2019 and 30.6% improvement from April 2021. The state has also shown a 24.4% improvement since April 2019 in ongoing unemployment claims.
Utah, Nebraska, Indiana, Montana and Minnesota were ranked as having the best bounce backs while the District of Columbia, New Mexico, Delaware, Hawaii, Connecticut, Alaska and Texas have had the worst bounce back.
WalletHub’s analyst Jill Gonzalez said that a fed rate hike and rising inflation will have an impact on those who are unemployed.
“Rising inflation has a direct impact on unemployed people. Finding a job right away is critical, as costs continue to increase and a recession looms in the horizon,” Gonzalez said. “The good news is that there are jobs out there for the taking. Jobs in logistics, dining and hospitality are very much in demand right now, so those fields might be good places to start.”
Those factors mean that employees should be choosy when looking for new employment.
“The biggest thing that unemployed people should look for when choosing which businesses to apply to is compensation that’s appropriate for their field and skill level. Since there is currently an employment shortage, workers are in a great position to negotiate a worthwhile compensation package,” Gonzalez said. “Other desirable features are the ability to work from home at least part of the time, measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a positive and friendly workplace environment, and a short commute.”
About the Author: Jon Styf, The Center Square Staff Reporter – Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies. Follow Jon on Twitter @JonStyf.