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Perry’s Jobless Spike to 9.9% in January, Highest in Tennessee

The end of seasonal holiday jobs in January can be counted as one of the contributing factors that led to higher county unemployment rates across Tennessee for the month.

While statewide unemployment numbers are adjusted to consider the impacts of seasonal labor, county unemployment rates are not adjusted.

Each of Tennessee’s 95 counties experienced an increase in unemployment during January, according to new data released by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Eighty counties reported rates less than 5%, while the remaining 15 counties had rates of 5% or greater, but less than 10%.

Williamson and Moore counties had the state’s lowest unemployment for the month. Both counties recorded rates of 2.5% in January. That accounted for a 0.3 of a percentage point increase for both counties when compared to their rates in December.

At 9.9%, Perry County had the highest unemployment rate in the state. The county’s January number more than doubled its December rate of 4.5%.

Cocke County had Tennessee’s second-highest rate for the month. Its January jobless number increased from 4% to 7% between December and January but was 0.4 of a percentage point lower than its rate one year ago.

Statewide, January’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 3.5%, the fourth consecutive month at that level.

Across the nation, seasonally adjusted unemployment for January decreased slightly from 3.5% to 3.4%.

Tennessee has more than 80 American Job Centers across the state where job seekers can walk in and receive one-on-one help finding employment.

From resume writing to skills training programs, career specialists can help individuals take advantage of all the services available to them.

The local Job Center is located at 101 North Poplar (on the square), Linden, 931-589-0032, Monday through Wednesday, 8:00 to 4:30.

Job seekers can also find a variety of services online. From a virtual American Job Center to information on adult education programs, it is all available at

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