Monday, March 14, 2011

Jobless rate increases across state

Davidson County’s unemployment rate went up half a percentage point in January with an even steeper increase in the Nashville-Murfreesboro metropolitan area, but economists don’t believe this indicates a worsening economy.

The higher January jobless rate was driven by seasonal layoffs in the leisure and hospitality sector and among temporary workers, said Jeff Hentschel, spokesman for the state Labor and Workforce Department.
The January unemployment rate for Nashville was 8.6 percent, up from 8.1 percent in December. The rate in the 13-county Metro area jumped from 7.9 percent to 8.8 percent.

The state unemployment rate increased a much smaller 9.4 percent to 9.5 percent. That figure is seasonally adjusted while county rates are not.

“I don’t attribute the increases to the economy getting worse,” said economist David Penn, director of the Business and Economic Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University.

Williamson County had the state’s lowest rate at 6.7 percent, while Scott County had the highest at 23.2 percent. Rates went up in all 95 counties.

Contact Bonna Johnson at 615-726-5990 or

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