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The Center Square [By Steve Wilson] –
A new report ranks Nashville with the 33rd best improvement in its unemployment rate nationally, but other Tennessee cities didn’t rank as highly.
The personal finance website Wallethub ranked U.S. cities on the change in their unemployment rates from August of this year against July, August 2021, August 2020 and August 2019. The study also looked at the cities’ overall employment rate as well.
Nashville’s unemployment rate was 2.9% in August, a 10.93% decrease from July and a 26.84% decrease from August 2021. The difference between August 2022 and August 2020 was even more stark, with a decrease in the unemployment rate of 68.47% during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Nashville was in the top 50, the rest of Tennessee didn’t fare as well. Chattanooga was 78th best with an unemployment rate of 3.8% in August, while Knoxville was ranked 86th with an unemployment rate of 3.3%.
Memphis was nine places from the worst city (Dover, Del.) at 171st. Its unemployment rate was 6.2% in August.
“The labor shortage we’re seeing right now was originally created by layoffs during the pandemic,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub Analyst. “The problem is that only 25% of those laid off have returned back to work. If the shortage continues, there could be rising wages and even more inflation in the short term.
“In the long term, it could slow or stop GDP growth and bring about a recession.”
Two of the top five cities in the rankings, Hialeah (first) and Miami (third), are located in south Florida. The rest of the top five cities included two cities in Vermont, with South Burlington in second place and Burlington in fourth. Juneau, Alaska, was fifth.
New York City was one spot above Dover, with North Las Vegas, Fayetteville, N.C. and Wilmington, Del. rounding out the bottom five.