By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor
UPPER CUMBERLAND –Unemployment rates continue to fall in the Upper Cumberland region. Nine counties realized rate decreases and two bettered the state’s rate for the month of July, according to statistics released recently by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD).
“The summer months significantly impact the unemployment situation across the state,” said TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips. “People are not working seasonal jobs, they’re out of town and not able to work, or they’ve just graduated and are looking for work. There are many factors that play a role in summer unemployment figures.”
Smith County was tied for the eighth lowest rate in Tennessee at 3.4 percent, which was down 0.3 of a percentage point when compared to the previous month. The county’s unemployment rate was also down 0.2 percentage points over July 2017.
Cannon County also bettered the state’s rate coming in at 3.8 percent, a drop of 0.1 percentage points over last month and July 2017.
Van Buren County improved its rate by 0.7 percentage points to 5.7 percent, dropping it from the third highest rate in Tennessee out of the top 10 counties.
Clay (5.2), Macon (4.2), Overton (4.6) and Pickett (4.5) saw slight increases month-over-month.
Rounding out the region were Putnam (4.2), White (4.3), Cumberland (4.5), Warren (4.8), DeKalb (4.9), Fentress (4.9), and Jackson (5.4) counties.
Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for July was 4.0 percent (non-seasonally adjusted), up 0.1 percentage points from the previous month. The U.S. preliminary rate for July was 4.1 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from June.
* Rates are not seasonally adjusted