Department of Numbers

Memphis, Tennessee Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Memphis fell 0.0 percentage points in August 2019 to 4.2%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 0.7 percentage points higher than the Tennessee rate. The unemployment rate in Memphis peaked in August 2009 at 10.4% and is now 6.2 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 3.9% in February 2019, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.3 percentage points. You can also compare Memphis unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate August 2019 Month/Month Year/Year
National 3.7% 0.0 -0.1
Tennessee 3.5% 0.0 0.0
Memphis 4.2% 0.0 +0.1
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with August 2019 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 64,199. There are now 36,547 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. From a recent trough of 24,791 in March 2019, the number of unemployed has now grown by 2,861. Memphis employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Memphis, Tennessee) is also available.

Unemployed Persons August 2019 Month/Month Year/Year
Memphis 27,652 +251 +1,304

Number of Unemployed Persons

Memphis, Tennessee Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
Tennessee
Unemployment Rate
Memphis
Unemployment Rate
Memphis
Unemployed
September
2019
3.5% 3.4%
August
2019
3.7% 3.5% 4.2% 27,652
July
2019
3.7% 3.5% 4.2% 27,401
June
2019
3.7% 3.4% 4.0% 26,050
May
2019
3.6% 3.3% 3.9% 25,275
April
2019
3.6% 3.2% 3.9% 24,963
March
2019
3.8% 3.2% 3.9% 24,791
February
2019
3.8% 3.2% 3.9% 24,802
January
2019
4.0% 3.3% 4.0% 25,248
December
2018
3.9% 3.3% 4.0% 25,465
November
2018
3.7% 3.3% 4.0% 25,416
October
2018
3.8% 3.3% 4.0% 25,463

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.