Chattanooga unemployment

As unemployment rates go down across the country, the same is happening in the Chattanooga area.

However, one expert said Chattanooga's overall unemployment rates were already doing better compared to the rest of the country and the state of Tennessee.

”If you go back a year ago from this number, so November of 2020, the metro unemployment was 4.5% and U.S. unemployment was over 6%," said Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Economic Development Charles Wood.

Wood said when it comes to the Scenic City's economy, there's a continuous trend of being below the nationwide average.

”Our economy is incredibly diverse. We are really fortunate," said Wood. "If you look at the types of industries that are here, we have a really strong manufacturing base, a great kind service base, think about companies like BlueCross BlueShield.”

He said now, as rates continue to go down across the country, Chattanooga's unemployment rates are dropping even lower.

”The Chattanooga MSA, which is the six counties around Chattanooga, that unemployment rate hit 2.7% in November so this is particularly low," said Wood.

Tennessee's statewide unemployment rate rested at 3.1% in November.

He said there's not an issue when it comes to jobs in the area.

”October we were 500 jobs more in October of 2021 than January 2020," said Wood. "Then in November we were 1600 jobs over that."

However, the two factors that could be up in the air are the service industry and the travel or hospitality industry.

”The risk that’s out there is around if people will continue to travel," said Wood. "Even in that sector, Chattanooga has performed better than others, in part because we’re a drive-to market.”

Wood said one trend he's noticed is the service industry is struggling to hire, as many people in the industry are getting other jobs that are full-time and have more competitive wages or benefits.

Reporter/Weekend morning Anchor

Angela Kim joined the Local 3 News team in August 2020 as a reporter. You can find her reporting during the week and anchoring our weekend morning newscasts.

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