Chattanooga jobless rate drops in April to 7.1 percent

Chattanooga jobless rate drops in April to 7.1 percent

May 24th, 2012 by Dave Flessner in Local - Breaking News

Unemployment in Chattanooga drops in April

Unemployment in metropolitan Chattanooga declined last month to the lowest level since November 2008, although the drop in the April jobless rate was largely due to a decline in the number of persons in the labor force.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development said today that the jobless rate in the 6-county Chattanooga area fell to 7.1 percent in April. That was 0.6 percent below the comparable U.S. nonseasonally adjusted rate for unemployment and nearly 1 percent below the statewide jobless rate.

Unemployment in the region was lowest in Catoosa County in North Georgia at 6.7 percent in April. Last month, unemployment was highest in Southeast Tennessee in Van Buren county at 10.5 percent.

In the past year, the jobless rate in metro Chattanooga fell from 8.3 percent in April 2011 to 7.1 percent last month, due to both more people on the job and fewer people looking for a job.

In the past 12 months, employment in metro Chattanooga grew by 1,750 jobs. But the size of the local workforce measured by the number of persons working or looking for work shrunk in the past year by 1,440.

Read more in tomorrow's Times Free Press