The number of unemployment claims filed in Scott County continues to decline as the economy slowly recovers from the impacts of the coronavirus shutdown.
According to data submitted Thursday by the TN Department of Labor and Workforce Development, 28 initial jobless claims were filed in Scott County and 296 ongoing claims last week.
The total of 324 jobless claims is the smallest number in Scott County since the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic reached Tennessee in mid-March.
At one point in mid-April, there were more than 1,000 jobless claims processed by the TN Department of Labor and Workforce Development involving Scott County workers. However, that number has slowly declined since then.
As a result, Scott County’s unemployment rate, which hit 17%, has returned to a single digit and continues to decline. The official unemployment rate for August, released last week, was 8.7%. That number reflected an estimated local workforce of 8,418, of which 7,562 were working and 736 were unemployed.
This data was collected by the federal government for one week during the month of August.
Based on the estimated August workforce and the most recent jobless claims data for the week ending September 26, the 324 jobless claims would reflect a current unemployment rate of only around 3.8%.
However, unemployment numbers aren’t solely based on unemployment benefits claims, and it’s unlikely that Scott County’s unemployment rate is really that low.
However, the unemployment rate is expected to continue to decline. The Department of Labor will not release the official September numbers until the end of October.
Across the state, the number of initial unemployment claims fell to 9,802 for the week ending September 26, the first week that the number was less than 10,000 since the start of the pandemic. At its peak in early April, more than 116,000 jobless claims were filed in a single week. However, demonstrating that the economy has not fully recovered, only 2,700 initial jobless claims were filed in the last week before the coronavirus shutdown began.
And while continuing unemployment claims continue to decline, dropping to 138,727 last week, that number is still significantly higher than the 16,342 claims filed in March, just before the coronavirus-inspired close.
The Department of Labor reported it paid 266,028 jobless claims last week, with nearly $ 189 million in payments.