Report: Morristown among the best in the country at retaining jobs through pandemic

Since the pandemic began a year ago, Morristown has held its own on retaining jobs better than the vast majority of communities in the country.

Morristown ranks No. 7 in the United States since the pandemic began, according to a recent study conducted by 24/7 Wall Street.

“That speaks to the diversity of business in the community and the resilience of entrepreneurship,” said Marshall Ramsey, president of the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce.

In order to see how job growth has gone, the organization reviewed Bureau of Labor Statistics from Feb. 2020 to Nov. 2020 for every metropolitan area in the United States.

The state held its own in the rankings.

“Tennessee was well represented,” Ramsey said.

Morristown came in ranked no. 7 in the nation.

Tennessee rankings were:

• No. 3: Knoxville

• No. 7: Morristown

• No. 10: Chattanooga

• No. 15: Jackson

• No. 17: Clarksville

• No. 28: Johnson City

During this time period, Morristown saw an employent rate of 3.9% in February and 5.1% unemployment in November. While higher over the nine-month period, the rate still ranked lower than many of its peer metropolitan areas.

Overall, the city actually saw a job growth rate of 1.9%.

Jobs grew from 51,700 to 52,701, according to the report.

Ramsey credits much of the success of rebounding back after a shutdown last April, that lasted a little more than a month, with local leaders who had goals set up to diversify the workforce after having been hit hard in the 1970s with furniture businesses leaving.

They learned not to put all eggs into one industry and it is paying off with the current job market.

“That speaks to the long-range planning,” Ramsey said.

He said as other cities across the country saw unemployment rise to extraordinary levels. Morristown bounced back quickly.

“It never hit us as bad,” he said.