Unemployment rates for the month of March showed a slight increase compared to its previous month.
Despite predictions made from State of Tennessee Statistical Analyst Patrick Todd, who expected to see the unemployment rate increase due to COVID-19, the impact in March was only 0.1%, bringing the county to 4.2% from its 4.1% in February.
Though the rate did not increase by much from the previous month, it is still a notable difference from the March rate of 2019, which was 3.7%.
Effects from the coronavirus shutdown are being felt across the country in April rates that have been released, as the Associated Press reported Friday that “20.5 million jobs vanished in the worst monthly loss on record.”
“The unemployment report indicated that the vast majority of April’s job losses — roughly 90% — are considered temporary, a result of businesses that were forced to suddenly close but hope to reopen and recall their laid-off workers,” the AP also noted.
According to the State of Tennessee, the national unemployment rate in March was 4.4% — up 0.9% from February — and the AP reported Friday that the national rate had grown to 14.7% in April.
The state also reported that more than 81,000 new unemployment claims have been filed statewide in the past two weeks, with 3,787 new claims filed in the Southeast region the week of May 2.
In March, much of the State of Tennessee followed the trend of Monroe County, as the state rate rose a tenth of a percent to 3.5% for the month.
The rate declined in March in 61 counties, rose in 18 and held steady in 16, leaving the rate less than 5% in 68 counties, between 5% and 10% in 27 counties and above 10% in none.
Around the area for the month of March, Blount County had a 0.3% decrease giving it a rate of 3.5%, Loudon County increased by 0.1% to 3.8%, McMinn also witnessed a 0.1% increase giving it a rate of 4.2%, and Polk County saw a decrease by 0.3% giving the county a rate of 4.2%.