Governor Bill Lee says Tennessee has fewest distressed counties since 2007

Governor Lee Tennessee_1542840786166

Governor-elect Bill Lee speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Lee defeated Democrat Karl Dean in the gubernatorial race Tuesday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Governor Bill Lee announced that Tennessee has the fewest distressed counties statewide since 2007.

Governor Lee said the number is down from 15 to 11 counties, according to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).

McNairy, Jackson, Fentress and Morgan counties have shown tremendous improvement and we are proud to support continued efforts for greater stability and prosperity. 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.

Governor Bill Lee

ARC prepares an index of county economic status for every county in the United States every year. Officials use each county’s three-year average unemployment rate, per capita market income, and poverty rate to release the index.

I am thankful to Governor Lee and his incredible staff for their tremendous efforts in helping lift our community out of distressed status. We know that many factors go into this designation, but I believe that with the continued efforts of our Governor, his staff, and the proud citizens of our county, we will shed that label for good. The sky is the limit for Jackson County.

Jackson County Mayor Randy Heady

I was honored to receive the good news that Fentress County has moved off of the distressed county list. I would like to thank Governor Bill Lee, along with his staff and the Department of Economic and Community Development for the plan and great guidance to follow to make this possible. We will strive harder than ever to make Fentress County a better place for our citizens to live. Thanks to all who have supported us on our journey.

Fentress County Executive Jimmy Johnson

This is great news for Morgan County. We have worked extremely hard to help lift our county off of the distressed list. We will continue working hard to make sure we keep Morgan County on the right track. A lot of positive things are happening in Morgan County, and we look forward to continuing to lead the way.

Morgan County Executive Brian Langley

This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and for updates.

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