Record-high unemployment rates recorded in counties across Tennessee in April experienced sizable decreases as the state slowly reopened in May 2020, according to preliminary data released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
In Giles County, the unemployment rate was 19.5 percent.
All 95 of Tennessee's counties had lower unemployment rates in May, compared to the number of individuals who could not work in April when many businesses closed to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Even with marked improvement, 42 counties had unemployment rates greater than 5%, but less than 10%. Fifty-three counties, more than half of the counties in the state, had rates greater than 10%, but less than 20%.
Sevier County continued to have the highest rate of unemployment in Tennessee. The county's new rate of 18.5% is a staggering drop of 10.6 percentage points from April's record high of 29.1%.
The statewide unemployment statistic from May also decreased significantly. The new preliminary rate of 11.3% is down from the revised April rate of 15.5%.
Nationwide, unemployment decreased to 13.3% in May, down from the 14.7% rate recorded the month before.