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Cumberland County’s jobless rate improved by .5 of a percentage point in July, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported. The county reported an 8.7% unemployment rate for the month, up from 4.8% in July 2019.

The county joined three-quarters of the state’s 95 counties as unemployment continued to improve following businesses 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.

Pickett County recorded the state’s lowest unemployment rate for the month. At 6.3%, the county’s rate dropped 0.7 of a percentage point compared to June’s rate.

Cumberland County’s rate of 8.7% means that 1,923 persons were out of work in July out of the county’s 22,174-person labor force.

Williamson and Moore counties had the second-lowest unemployment rates in July. Williamson County’s rate decreased 0.3 of a percentage point to 6.4%. In July 2019, its rate was 2.9%. Moore County’s June rate of 7.5% dropped to 6.4% in July. One year ago, it was 3.5%.

Shelby County reported the highest unemployment rate, 14.4%, up 1.3 percentage points from June.

With a rate of 12.7%, Haywood County had the second-highest rate of unemployment in the state. The new rate increased 0.9 of a percentage point when compared to the previous month. One year ago, the rate was 5.3%. Hancock County’s unemployment rate jumped 1.8 percentage points to 12.5% in July. In July 2019, the county had a rate of 7.3%.

When surveying unemployment in Tennessee’s three largest cities, Knoxville had the lowest rate in July, which held steady at 9.4%. Nashville’s unemployment rate saw a slight uptick of 0.1 of a percentage point to 12.1%. Memphis experienced the biggest increase in July. Its unemployment rate grew by 1.6 percentage points to 16.9%. In July 2019, Knoxville had a rate of 3.8%, Nashville was at 2.9% and the Memphis rate was 5.1%.

The statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Tennessee decreased for the third consecutive month in July from 9.6% to 9.5%.

Nationally, unemployment also decreased in July. The preliminary, seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate is 10.2%, a 0.9 of a percentage point drop from the previous month’s rate.

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. More than 200,000 active job listings are currently available online at jobs4tn.gov.

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