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Unemployment Down Statewide, Up In Weakley, Mixed In Bordering Counties

NASHVILLE (July 23) — Tennessee’s statewide unemployment rate decreased for the second consecutive month. The June 2020 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 9.7 percent, down 1.3 percentage points from May’s revised rate of 11 percent.
Nationally, seasonally adjusted unemployment dropped by 2.2 percentage points in June, going from 13.3 percent to 11.1 percent.
Seventy-four counties had lower jobless rates for the month, as Tennessee continues to reopen after many businesses closed in the spring to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
Unemployment did increase slightly in 17 counties during the month and remained the same in four counties.
Weakley County’s unemployment rate of 7.8 percent for the month of June is 0.9 percentage points higher than it was in May. It was 3.3 percent lower than the national rate of 11.1 percent, and 1.9 percent less than the state average of 9.7 percent. Out of a total countywide labor force of 14,360 workers in Weakley County, 13,242 were employed and 1,118 were unemployed.
In bordering counties, Gibson registered 8.8 percent unemployment for the month of June, which remains unchanged from the previous month.
At 8.8 percent, Obion County’s unemployment rate increased by 0.5 from May’s rate of 7.5 percent.
Carroll County’s unemployment rate was 9.2 percent for June, which is a reduction of 0.2 percent from the previous month’s rate of 9.4 percent.
Henry County recorded a jobless rate of 8.9 percent. This is 0.5 percent less than May’s rate of 9.4 percent.
The Northwest Tennessee Economic and Community Development Region, which includes the counties of: Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion and Weakley, registered an average unemployment rate of 8.7 percent for the month of June, which represents a decline of 0.2 percent from May’s rate of 8.9 percent. This is the second consecutive month this region of Tennessee recorded the lowest regional jobless rate. The region has a combined labor force of 103,163. Of this number, 94,153 were employed and 9,010 remained unemployed.
In other regions of the state, Williamson County recorded the lowest unemployment rate in June. At 6.7 percent, the rate dropped 0.4 of a percentage point when compared to May’s rate.
Crockett County’s rate of 6.8 percent was Tennessee’s second-lowest figure for the month, down 0.3 of a percentage point from May. Pickett County had the third-lowest rate at 7.2 percent, down a 0.5 of a percentage point.
Shelby County had the state’s highest rate of unemployment in June. Its figure jumped 1.8 percentage points to 13.2 percent.
Grundy County was just below Shelby County at 13.1 percent, which represents a 3.8 percentage point drop from May’s rate of 16.9 percent.
Knoxville had the lowest unemployment rate among Tennessee’s three largest cities at 9.5 percent, which is a 0.3 of a percentage point decrease from the month before. Nashville had a rate of 12.1 percent, down 0.2 of a percentage point from May. Memphis saw a 2.4 percentage point increase in unemployment between May and June to 15.3 percent.
Between May and June, the state’s employers added 108,500 non-farm jobs. The top three sectors for job creation across Tennessee were leisure/hospitality, government, and education and health services.
As the state slowly reopens, employers are creating new job opportunities, but there is still a deficit when comparing year-to-year data. From June 2019 through June 2020, Tennessee lost 154,000 positions. The largest decrease came in the leisure/hospitality sector, followed by the manufacturing sector, and then the professional/business services sector.
Tennessee employers are hiring. Job seekers can find more than 190,000 current job openings on the state’s workforce development website, Tennesseans can also find free assistance with improving job search skills, updating resumes, and job training opportunities on the site.

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