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Unemployment trends moving in right direction… Decrease is seen in new claims and continued claims for period ending Aug. 1

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
When in the midst of a storm, it’s often nice to just see a rainbow break through the clouds as a reminder things will get better.
For the state of Tennessee, that rainbow came this past week when the unemployment numbers were released statewide for the week ending on August 1, 2020, when the state only reported that there had been 11,690 new claims filed for unemployment – a decrease of 7,771 from the previous reporting period.
There have been 771,274 new claims filed since March 15th, 2020.
Also, the number of continued claims has continued to fall as 224,093 were filed for this period. That number reflects a decrease of 18,304 from the previous week indicating that more Tennesseans are returning to work or possibly finding new jobs.
Statewide, there has been a total of $234,742,728 dollars paid out for unemployment since the pandemic started to heavily impact businesses beginning around the March 15th time frame and resulting in a huge filing for unemployment benefits.
While the COVID-19 continues to impact the health of everyone from Memphis to Johnson County, the numbers are significant in that they reflect that more businesses are beginning to open back up after having to shutter for almost a month due to the sickness.
Medical personnel continues to emphasize that the pandemic is still impacting the state and its not the time to let the guard down as businesses need to utilize social distancing and encourage mask-wearing as much as possible.
The money that has been paid out for unemployment has come from the Coronavirus Relief Fund with Tennessee not having to dig into its reserves currently.
Locally, Carter County reflects that 1,028 residents are currently filing for unemployment assistance as there are now 417 active cases in the county.
In Washington County where the Coronavirus has reported the highest number of positive cases with 954 as of Wednesday, there are 3,371 claims that were submitted.
Sullivan County (321 active cases) reported 3,999 of its residents filing for unemployment benefits. Other counties with their respective unemployment claims include Johnson County (194), Unicoi County (369), Greene (2,151), Hawkins (1,454), and Hancock (158).
These counties make up the Northeast Tennessee Labor and Work Force Development region.