MBJ: Memphis unemployment continues to drop
Those who keep a close eye on Memphis area unemployment figures might have thought its rate couldn’t continue to improve. But, they would have been wrong.
In March, the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) saw its unemployment rate sink to 4.7 percent, marking the first time the city’s overall rate was below the national average since 1999.
And somehow, April was even better.
The area’s overall unemployment rate declined to 4.4 percent in April. During that month, as in March, the gains were spread across every area of the MSA.
The Eastern Arkansas portion of the MSA reported a 2.5 percent improvement in its unemployment rate from April of 2015 when its rate was 6.4 percent. Now, West Memphis and its surrounding areas are at 3.9 percent unemployment.
Tipton County holds the highest overall unemployment rate within the MSA at 4.9 percent. Shelby County’s rate is 4.5 percent — a 1.7 percent improvement from April of 2015 and a 0.7 percent improvement from March of this year.
Fayette County and the North Mississippi portion of the MSA both reported a 4.2 percent unemployment rate.
The national unemployment rate in April was 5 percent. The state unemployment rate is 6 percent.