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Memphis Burgundy Book: Memphis Zone’s Unemployment Rate at Lowest Since 2008


ST. LOUIS – A May survey of business contacts in the Memphis Zone of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis showed the contacts as modestly less optimistic about the economic outlook in 2015, compared with their sentiment three months earlier.

Still, the percentage of respondents expecting better conditions (50 percent) greatly surpassed the percentage expecting worsening conditions (18 percent), while the remaining respondents expected conditions to remain the same.

The information was published June 23, 2015, in the latest quarterly release of the Burgundy Books, a publication produced by the St. Louis Fed. The reports offer comprehensive economic information for each of the Bank’s four zones: St. Louis, Little Rock, Ark., Louisville, Ky., and Memphis, Tenn.

One improvement in this report was the unemployment rate. The Memphis Zone’s rate averaged 7.4 percent in the first quarter of 2015, a sharp decline from the previous quarter’s 8.1 percent and the lowest rate since 2008.  

The Memphis Zone includes northern Mississippi, eastern Arkansas and western Tennessee. It has a population of approximately 3.1 million people, including the 1.3 million who live in the Memphis metropolitan statistical area (MSA).

For a summary and details on other specific economic indicators, such as single-family building permits, commercial real estate, credit card delinquency, banking and agriculture, see the full Memphis report.