UPPER CUMBERLAND – It seems as if the Upper Cumberland will continue its summer unemployment slide.
Nine of the region’s 14 counties saw over-the-month increases in July, led by Overton, which was up 1.0 percentage points, and Fentress (8.5), which jumped 0.8. Others seeing gains were Macon (6.1), Smith (6.4), Putnam (7.0), Warren (7.0), Pickett (8.1), DeKalb (8.2) and Jackson (8.8).
Three counties reported no change, including Cannon (6.3), Cumberland (7.5) and Van Buren (9.1). White (6.8) was the sole county to see a decrease in its jobless rate, albeit a small one, at 0.1 percentage points.
It’s at least the second straight month that unemployment rates have increased for a majority of the region. In June, all 14 counties were up; although year-to-year, the UC has seen improvements. Only one player, Clay, has seen an unemployment gain compared to July 2014. It currently ranks 93rd out of 95 Tennessee counties for the highest unemployment rates. Van Buren is also in the bottom 10.
As a state, Tennessee’s non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 6.4 percent was 0.1 percentage points higher than in June. The national unemployment for June, as a comparison, was 5.6 percent, also a 0.1 percentage point increase from the previous month.
Only three counties matched or bettered the state’s rate for July, including Macon, Cannon and Smith.