Unemployment edged higher in both metropolitan Chattanooga and Cleveland, Tenn., last month as employment shrunk at the end of 2016 across Southeast Tennessee.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development said today that the jobless rate rose by two tenths of a percentage point during December to 5 percent in the 6-county Chattanooga metropolitan area. The number of employed Chattanoogans fell last month by 2,220 workers as the Christmas holidays approached and more workers were idled or their jobs phased out.
In metro Cleveland, unemployment rose by three tenths of a percentage point to 4.4 percent with a drop of 880 jobs at the end of the year.
Metro Cleveland has led the state in job growth for most of 2016 and the Cleveland area continued to have a jobless rate below the comparable, non-seasonally adjusted rate of 4.9 percent last month across all of Tennessee.
Chattanooga's jobless rate was a tenth of a percent above the comparable statewide rate in December.
Across the Volunteer State, the jobless rate was lowest in Williamson County at 3.5 percent and highest in Clay County at 7.4 percent.