Upper Cumberland region marks one year of historic low unemployment

By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor

UPPER CUMBERLAND –The State of Tennessee and the Upper Cumberland region are celebrating one year of historic low unemployment rates. The Tennessee seasonal unadjusted unemployment rate has been 4.1 percent or lower for an entire year with the Upper Cumberland closely following at 4.5 percent or lower.

“For more than a year now, Tennessee continues to see unemployment rates lower than ever before. These numbers are a testament to the state’s investments in education and job creation,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. “In just the past three weeks, we have announced more than 2,000 new jobs coming to our state, which sets the path for unemployment to remain low and for Tennesseans to benefit from that job growth.”

“I’m seeing numbers as low as I’ve seen since the early ’70’s,” said Henry Bowman, Upper Cumberland Development District economist.

Three counties reported unemployment rates below the state average: Cannon (3.9), Macon (4.0), and Smith (3.7).

June unemployment rates increased from the May rates in all counties primarily due to the temporary layoffs of school system workers, excluding teachers. Still over half of the counties reported the same or lower unemployment rates than 2017 numbers.

Counties June 2018 May 2018 June 2017
Cannon 3.9 2.7 4.0
Clay 5.1 3.7 4.3
Cumberland 4.6 3.3 4.7
DeKalb 5.0 3.8 5.1
Fentress 5.1 3.3 5.0
Jackson 5.4 3.7 5.6
Macon 4.0 2.7 4.0
Overton 4.5 3.0 4.5
Pickett 4.3 2.6 4.7
Putnam 4.4 3.0 4.3
Smith 3.7 2.4 3.8
Van Buren 6.5 4.4 4.9
Warren 4.9 3.2 4.6
White 4.4 3.1 4.3
UC 4.5 3.1 4.5
TN 4.1 3.0 4.1

Michelle Price is the former managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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