Unemployment Up Locally, Down Statewide and Nationally

NASHVILLE (August 27) — The unemployment picture in Weakley and nearby counties is mixed for the month of July.

Weakley County’s unemployment rate for July 2020 was 8.0 percent, which is up 0.2 percent from June’s rate of 7.8 percent, and represents a 1.9 percent increase from July 2019’s rate of 6.1 percent. Weakley County’s jobless rate for July was 1.5 percent lower than the state average of 9.5 percent and 2.2 percent below the national rate of 10.2 percent. Out of a total labor force of 14,026 workers in Weakley County, 12,904 were employed and 1,122 were unemployed.

In neighboring counties, Carroll’s jobless rate was 8.8 percent for July 2020, which is a reduction of 0.4 percent from June’s unemployment rate of 9.2 percent. This represents an increase of 3.1 percent from June 2019 when jobless numbers were 5.7 percent. The jobless rate for July was 0.7 percent lower than the state average and 1.4 percent less than the national rate. Out of Carroll County’s total labor force of 11,191 workers, there were 10,206 employed and 985 were unemployed.

Henry County recorded a jobless rate of 8.1 percent. This is 0.8 percent less than the previous month’s rate of 8.9 percent, and 3.7 percent above the unemployment rate for July 2019. Henry County’s jobless rate for July was 1.4 percent lower than the state average and 2.1 less than the national rate. Out of a total labor force of 13,325 workers in Henry County, 12,249 were employed and 1,076 were unemployed.

At 8.3 percent, Obion County’s unemployment rate rose by 0.3 percent from June’s rate of 8.0 percent, which is 2.8 percent above the July 2019 rate of 5.5 percent. Obion County’s unemployment numbers show it is 1.2 percent below the state rate, and 1.9 percent less than the national average. Out of a total labor force of 11,874 workers in Obion County, 10,884 were employed and 990 were unemployed.

Gibson County registered 8.6 percent unemployment for the month of July, which is 0.2 percent lower than the previous month’s rate of 8.8 percent. This represents a 3.9 percent increase in the jobless numbers from July 2019’s rate of 4.7 percent. Gibson County’s unemployment numbers are 0.9 percent below the state rate, and 1.6 percent less than the national average. Out of a labor force of 20,858, there were 19,059 employed and 1,799 unemployed.

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 of 8.5 percent unemployment for the month of July, which is a 0.2 percent decline from the previous month’s rate of 8.7 percent. The region has a combined labor force of 101,605. Of this number, 92,959 were employed and 8,646 remained unemployed.

Pickett County had the lowest unemployment rate in Tennessee at 6.3 percent, and Shelby County had the highest unemployment rate at 14.4 percent.

Tennessee’s economy continued to show signs of recovery from the COVID-19 health emergency in July. Newly-released information from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development statewide unemployment revealed statewide unemployment decreased for the third consecutive month.

The statewide seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in Tennessee decreased from 9.6 percent in June 2020 to 9.5 percent in July 2020. However, the state’s jobless rate is 6.1 percent higher than July 2019, which represents a 3.4 percent increase. Tennessee has a labor force of 3,114,874. Of this number, 2,844,803 are employed and 300,071 are out of work.

The unemployment situation in three-quarters of Tennessee’s 95 counties continued to improve in July following business closures earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 health emergency.

Seventy-two counties had lower unemployment in July compared to the previous month. Rates in four counties mirrored their rates from June. Nineteen counties did experience a slight uptick in unemployment during the month.

Employers across Tennessee added 600 new jobs between June and July. The leisure/hospitality sector, along with the professional/business services and manufacturing sectors created the most jobs during the month

While those three sectors showed the biggest gains in employment during July, they are also responsible for the biggest losses over the last year. Between July 2019 and July 2020, non-farm employment decreased by 160,600 jobs in Tennessee. The hardest-hit sectors were leisure/hospitality, manufacturing, and professional/business services.

Nationally, unemployment decreased in July. The preliminary, seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate is 10.2 percent, a 0.9 of a percentage point drop from the previous month’s rate of 11.1 percent. This is a 6.5 percent hike from July 2019, when the jobless rate was 3.7 percent. Out of the state’s total labor force of 159,870,000, 143,532,000 were employed and 16,338,000.

Unemployed Tennesseans can find free job search assistance and career development opportunities at any of the more than 80 American Job Centers across the state. Members of the public can find the nearest center through an interactive online map. Online, more than 200,000 active job listings are currently available on the state’s workforce development website.

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