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State of unemployment in Memphis after year of pandemic troubles

Updated: Mar. 30, 2021 at 3:16 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - In March and April of 2020, thousands lost jobs, the unemployment rate skyrocketed and industries have spent the last year crawling back to life before the pandemic hit.

Where does Memphis stand today?

”We currently remain about 3.3% below our March 2020 level,” said Chad Matheson, Director of Market Research and Strategy for the Greater Memphis Chamber.”

We’ve added back about 65% of jobs lost,” said Matheson.

Some industries like restaurants and retail are still making the uphill climb to pre-pandemic levels. But some industries actually grew during the pandemic.

”Professional and business services is actually 3.6% higher than its March 2020 employment level,” said Matheson.

Industries like trade, transportation and utilities have returned to where they were. Construction is slightly above where it was this time last year. Manufacturing and medical innovation are industries Matheson believes will really help the city bounce back.

”Transportation equipment manufacturing, it complements some strategies at the state level to focus on automotive manufacturing,” he stated.

Based on the recent data, Matheson’s hopeful Memphis will continue to see employment grow.

”Certainly, encouraged by the rate of recovery that we’ve seen thus far,” Matheson said. “As I mentioned, benchmarking it against a nationally competitive set of peers has been promising thus far. We’ll continue to measure and monitor the economic trends of the, of the market overall.”

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