Department of Numbers

Memphis, Tennessee Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Memphis fell 0.3 percentage points in August 2017 to 4.2%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 0.9 percentage points higher than the Tennessee rate. The unemployment rate in Memphis peaked in July 2009 at 10.4% and is now 6.2 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 4.1% in May 2017, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.1 percentage points. You can also compare Memphis unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate August 2017 Month/Month Year/Year
National 4.4% +0.1 -0.5
Tennessee 3.3% -0.1 -1.5
Memphis 4.2% -0.3 -1.2
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with August 2017 data as September metro level unemployment data has not yet been released.

Unemployment Rate: Memphis, Tennessee, National

Memphis, Tennessee monthly unemployment rate chart

Note: Recessions shown in gray.

Memphis, Tennessee Unemployed

The number of people unemployed in Memphis peaked in February 2010 at 64,378. There are now 38,055 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. From a recent trough of 25,919 in May 2017, the number of unemployed has now grown by 404. Memphis employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Memphis, Tennessee) is also available.

Unemployed Persons August 2017 Month/Month Year/Year
Memphis 26,323 -2,187 -7,777

Number of Unemployed Persons

Memphis, Tennessee Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
Tennessee
Unemployment Rate
Memphis
Unemployment Rate
Memphis
Unemployed
September
2017
4.2% 3.0%
August
2017
4.4% 3.3% 4.2% 26,323
July
2017
4.3% 3.4% 4.5% 28,510
June
2017
4.4% 3.6% 4.3% 27,085
May
2017
4.3% 4.0% 4.1% 25,919
April
2017
4.4% 4.7% 4.7% 30,050
March
2017
4.5% 5.1% 5.0% 31,652
February
2017
4.7% 5.3% 5.2% 32,613
January
2017
4.8% 5.4% 5.6% 35,345
December
2016
4.7% 5.1% 5.5% 34,705
November
2016
4.6% 5.1% 5.5% 34,390
October
2016
4.8% 5.0% 5.5% 34,698

1. Metro area unemployment rates are now seasonally adjusted. The BLS has started publishing smoothed seasonally adjusted metropolitan area data which makes comparisons to state and national data more relevant than the unadjusted numbers.