County’s unemployment rate remains above state rate of 4.9

Published 10:25 am Monday, March 21, 2016

Carter County’s unemployment rate continues to run above the state’s average rate of 4.9 percent. As of January 31, the county had an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent.
The latest statistics show the county with a labor force of 23,440 of which 22,090 are employed and 1,350 unemployed.
The 5.8 percent unemployment rate is down from 6.2 percent in December and down 2.0 percent from January 2015 when the unemployment rate for the county was 7.8 percent.
Elizabethton and Carter County are part of the Johnson City Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Washington County and Johnson City. Major industries in the area include education and health care, which is largely fueled by East Tennessee State University and the med-tech corridor anchored by the Johnson City Med Center, Franklin Woods Hospital and affiliated facilities.
The 5.8 percent unemployment rate in the county is in line with other area counties, including Johnson County at 5.8; Greene County, 6.2; Unicoi County, 8.2; Sullivan, 5.0; Hawkins, 5.4; and Washington, 4.9.
It is estimated by the First Tennessee Development District that 43.5 percent of Carter Countians work in the country while the remainder commute to jobs in Washington and Sullivan counties as well as other area communities.
Locally, 2014 FTDD statistics show that 1,484 Elizabethton residents were employed in manufacturing; 615 in construction; 1,556 in retail; 407 in wholesale; 44 in utilities; 290 in finance and insurance; and 1,672 in education.
The top 15 employers in the city and county were listed as Wal-Mart, Snap-on Inc., Sycamore Shoals Hospital, Elizabethton City and Carter County Schools, Summers-Taylor Inc., Precipitator Services Group, Carter County and Elizabethton City Governments, Carter County and Citizens Banks, Milligan College, NCI Manufacturing Group, Star Building Systems, Grindstaff, Lowe’s Home Center, Life Care, Pine Ridge, Life Care, Roan Mountain, and Hermitage and Hillview Nursing Homes; Medical Care, and the State of Tennessee.
Other employers in the county include AYM, Blue Ridge Fabricators, Colorworks, Mapes Piano Strings, Nor-Well, Rite Screen, Sossner Steel Stamps, Tri-City Plating, Tennessee Vocational Training Center, and Roan Mountain and Sycamore Shoals State Parks.
In addition to the 1,350 unemployed in the county, the Tennessee Department of Labor estimates there are 830 “discouraged workers” in the county, meaning they have given up looking for work.

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