County’s unemployment rate drops 2.6 percent in one year

Published 5:23 pm Friday, January 26, 2018

Carter County is continuing to reap the benefits of a successful 2017 economic season.

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) release county unemployment rates as of December 2017 on Thursday, which indicated a majority of the state’s 95 counties rate continues to remain under 5 percent. Another key component of the report noted that each county had a lower unemployment rate compared to one year ago.

With a drop in unemployment, Chris Cannon, TDLWD director of communications, stated that 33,500 jobs were created statewide from December 2016 to 2017.

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“Job creation is certainly a major factor, if not the only factor,” Cannon told the Elizabethton Star.

Northeast Tennessee was able to reap the benefits of a productive economic season across the state, Cannon added.

The Johnson City statistical area, which includes Carter, Unicoi and Washington Counties, added 800 jobs over the course of the year.

In Carter County, the unemployment reached 3.8 percentage, down 2.6 percentage from the previous year.

While the numbers are exciting to see, Cannon noted that the rate is anticipated to grow when 2018’s numbers are released.

“Such a large decrease in the unemployment rate over a year is very rare, so it is highly unlikely to decline that much again by next December. In fact, the rate will almost certainly increase in January, perhaps considerably, because it has increased every January but one,” he said.

But even with a project rise in the rate, Cannon added that economic projections are looking positive for the state.

“It’s expected much of that January increase in unemployment will be recovered in subsequent months, so getting back under 4 percent is a real possibility, but it is unlikely it will go much lower than that,” he said.

Visit to view the report in its entirety.