Grundy County Herald

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Statewide and Local Unemployment Data Continue with Mixed Messages

Posted on Friday, September 18, 2020 at 2:04 pm

Local and statewide unemployment figures continue not to appear to stabilize over the past month. Statewide figures show an increase in initial filings and a drop in continuing filings which is a trend mimicked by Grundy County’s figures. Most adjacent counties are seeing a similar trend. Regardless of the week-to-week figures, there remains significant improvement from the high point of the COVID-19
restrictions in April of this year.

For the State of Tennessee, August saw a tumultuous seesaw in the initial claims filed across the state. For the most recent week ending August 29, there was an 8.9% increase in the number of initial claims as the 10,998 figure from the week ending August 22 rose to 12,035; however, the number of continuing claims dropped by 6,423 or about 3.5%. Although the net number of workers filing for unemployment benefits continues to decrease, the number of initial filings continues to waffle from week-to-week throughout
the month of August. Since the declaration of the pandemic, statistics for the week ending April 4 looks poised to easily maintain its hold on the “low point” for statewide statistics as over 116,000 initial filings were filed dwarfing any other single week. As for continuing filings for the state as a whole, May 9’s data
still holds the comfortable high water mark with over 325,000 filings.

As for Grundy County, the monthly trend for August holds true as well as the final week in August saw an increase in initial unemployment benefits from 27 to 32; however, the total number of filings dropped by 35 when the drop from continuing filings is taken into consideration. Grundy saw a drop from 304 to 264
in its continuing filings week-over-week. Grundy’s statistics for the month did deviate from the statewide trajectory as it did see an increase in continuing filings from week-to-week with the August 15 to August 22 data which contradicts the state’s downward trend throughout the month in continuing filings.

Surrounding counties struggle with proportional filings of its residents. For the final week of August, Sequatchie saw 25 initial filings compared to 21 the previous week while its continuing filings fell from 290 to 243. Van Buren saw no change in initial filings from August 22 to August 29 with three, but saw its continuing filings drop from 92-84. Warren County saw a drop from 82 to 55 in its initial filings and saw an 890 to 824 drop in continuing filings. Coffee County watched its initial filings drop from 122 to 115 while continuing filings fell from 1331 to 1313. Franklin County saw its initial filings rise from 43 to 55 and its continuing filings drop from 762 to 750. Marion County also saw its initial filings increase from 35 to
42 but saw better than a 10 percent drop in continuing filings from 630 to 565.

It’s important to note that a drop off in continuing filings could be a result of recipients simply missing their recertification; however, the steady downward trend statewide points to the foundation of a broad economic recovery. Many factors, however, will hold the key to a sustainable recovery. Many state financial programs remain untapped by small business as well the onset of the traditional flu season intertwined with a threats of a resurgence of COVID have many officials concerned over the traditional retail season leading up to Christmas. Statewide unemployment statistics are released each Thursday for
the week’s preceding filing data.