Fentress No Longer Considered Distressed County, Now “At Risk”

Governor Bill Lee announced on Wednesday, July 1, that Fentress County, along with Jackson, Morgan, and McNairy Counties, have officially risen from “distressed” status to being “at risk.” With these reclassifications, Tennessee now has fewer distressed counties than at any time in the last 13 years.

“McNairy, Jackson, Fentress and Morgan counties have shown tremendous improvement and we are proud to support continued efforts for greater stability and prosperity,” said Gov. Lee. “As these counties improve beyond distressed status this means more residents have access to quality jobs and economic security and we are committed to efforts that sustain this progress.”

Each year, Appalachian Regional Commission prepares an index of county economic status for every county in the United States. Economic status designations are identified through a composite measure of each county’s three-year average unemployment rate, per capita market income, and poverty rate. Based on these indicators, each county is then categorized as distressed, at-risk, transitional, competitive or attainment. 

Distressed counties rank among the 10 percent most economically distressed counties in the nation. McNairy, Jackson, Fentress and Morgan counties advanced out of distressed designation, signaling improved economic conditions for their residents. No Tennessee counties were added to the distressed list this year.

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.