NASHVILLE — Hamblen County saw a jump from 3.6% unemployment in March to 15.2% in April as the economic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the local, state and national economy according to statistics released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The negative economic impact hit the entire Lakeway Area, with Jefferson County recording a 17.5% unemployment rate, up from 3.6 % a month ago.
Hawkins County is at 15.5%, Grainger 14.4%, Claiborne 15.1% and Hancock County is at 12.6%. Cocke County is at 25.6% unemployment, the second-highest jobless rate in the state and a 20.9 point increase from the previous month.
There was a sharp increase in unemployment for each of Tennessee’s 95 counties in April as many businesses closed to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The unprecedented and historic spike in unemployment impacted some counties more drastically than others, but no area of Tennessee escaped the pandemic’s effect on the state’s workforce.
Fayette County had Tennessee’s lowest unemployment rate in April. At 9.4%, the county’s rate increased by 6.1 percentage points when compared to its revised March rate of 3.3%
Weakley County had the second-lowest unemployment rate for the month at 9.6%, followed by Hardeman County at 9.7%.
Fayette, Weakley and Hardeman were the only counties in the state with unemployment rates below 10% in April.
Sevier County recorded Tennessee’s highest unemployment rate for the month. The county’s new jobless figure of 29.5% represents a staggering spike of 26 percentage points when compared to its revised March rate of 3.5%.
Grundy County ranked third-highest with a rate of 25.3%, which is a 21.1 percentage point spike when compared to March’s rate.
When comparing Tennessee’s three largest cities, Nashville had the highest unemployment rate in April. The city’s rate of 15.9% is a 13.5 percentage point increase over its revised March rate of 2.4%. Memphis recorded a rate of 14.3%, a spike of 10.1 percentage points from the previous month, and Knoxville’s April rate of 14.7% is an 11.8 percentage point jump.
Statewide, unemployment reached a historic high in April. The seasonally adjusted rate of 14.7% surpassed the previous all-time high figure of 12.9% in January 1983.
Unlike the statewide unemployment rate, county unemployment statistics are not seasonally adjusted.
The state of Tennessee will release statewide unemployment rate for May 2020 on Thursday, June 18, at 2:30 p.m.