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Coffee County unemployment rate nears 20%

Statistics released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development show a staggering 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.

In Coffee County, the unemployment rate hit 19.8 percent. This is up 16.4 points from 3.4 percent in March of 2020 and is up 17 full points from 2.8 percent in April of 2019. In the surrounding area, Bedford County unemployment rate is 18.7 percent, Franklin County 21.1 percent, Grundy County 25.3 percent and Warren County 24.3%.

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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%

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%.

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