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Haslam announces drop in November unemployment rate

Staff Reports • Updated Dec 26, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Gov. Bill Haslam and Burns Phillips, Department of Labor and Workforce Development commissioner, announced the November statewide unemployment dropped significantly lower than November last year and notably lower than the national average. 

The preliminary, seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate for November was 3.1 percent – 2 percent lower than it was one year ago and 1 percent below the national average of 4.1 percent.

While the November statewide rate slightly increased 0.1 percent from the previous month, unemployment in Tennessee remains historically low. The state unemployment rate reached 3 percent in both September and October, its lowest level since the federal government began tracking the statistic in 1976.

“We’ve invested in our workforce through educational programs like Tennessee Reconnect and Tennessee Promise to help citizens prepare for the job demands of today’s employers. But we’ve also focused on creating an environment in Tennessee where businesses can thrive and want to invest in our communities and citizens,” Haslam said. “Jobs are created when companies put capital at risk, and our unemployment rate figures reflect that our policies are attracting companies to Tennessee.”  

Total nonfarm employment in Tennessee grew by 1,800 jobs in November. The state’s leisure and hospitality industry had the biggest gains between October and November.

“Heading into the holidays, more Tennesseans have jobs this year compared to last year,” Phillips said. “That’s good, not only for each individual family, but also for Tennessee’s economy as a whole.”

Tennessee first marked a historic low unemployment rate in June at 3.6 percent, which was bested by the July rate of 3.4 percent, and then fell even lower in August to 3.3 percent. It hit a new historic low of 3 percent in both September and October. November’s rate is the third lowest in the last six months.

More information on the unemployment rate, labor force and resources to help Tennesseans find jobs is available at jobs4tn.gov. 

The state will publish county unemployment rates for November on Dec. 28 at 1:30 p.m.

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