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Tennessee's unemployment rate remains at historic low

Governor's Communications Office • Sep 20, 2018 at 3:13 PM

NASHVILLE – Tennessee’s unemployment rate remained near historic low levels in August, despite a slight increase, according to the latest statistics released today by Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips.

The preliminary, seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate for August was 3.6 percent, just 0.1 of a percentage point higher than it was in July. Prior to August, Tennessee’s unemployment rate remained at 3.5 percent for three consecutive months.

“Even with this very small fluctuation in August, Tennessee’s unemployment rate continues to be one of the lowest in the nation,” Haslam said. “The fact the rate has seen such little movement over the last year reflects the strength of our state’s economy and our work over the past eight years to develop Tennessee’s workforce to meet the needs of today’s employers.”

Tennessee has had unemployment levels at or near record levels for more than a year. The seasonally adjusted statewide rate has been 4.0 percent or less since April 2017. The state achieved its all-time lowest unemployment rate of 3.3 percent in September 2017 and it remained at that level through January 2018.

The seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate remained unchanged in August and came in at 3.9 percent for the second consecutive month.

Between July and August, nonfarm employment in Tennessee increased by 2,600 jobs. Comparing year-to-year statistics, Tennessee’s labor force added 56,000 jobs between August 2017 and August 2018, with the leisure and hospitality industry seeing the largest increase in adding 3,300 new jobs.

“While new jobs were added in certain sectors last month, some businesses did reduce their workforces,” Phillips said. “No matter how low the unemployment rate may be, the reality is, some Tennesseans are looking for work and the state has many resources available to help them find new employment.”

Tennesseans looking for new employment opportunities can access the latest job openings, update their resumes, and sharpen their job interview skills by visiting the state’s workforce development website.

The statewide unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted to eliminate the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from an economic time series.

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