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State’s unprecedented unemployment continues in April

Staff Reports • Updated Jun 2, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Gov. Bill Haslam and Burns Phillips, Department of Labor and Workforce Development commissioner, recently announced Tennessee’s statewide unemployment rate for April was 3.4 percent, the third consecutive month the rate held steady.

The seasonally adjusted rate represented 0.6 of a percentage point decrease in unemployment compared to the same time in 2017.

April marked one year since Tennessee’s unemployment rate dropped to 4 percent for the first time in recent history. In May 2017, the rate dipped to 3.8 percent and remained less than that mark ever since. The state recorded an all-time low unemployment rate of 3.3 percent in September. That figure is just 0.1 of a percentage point lower than the latest rate.

“For more than a year now, Tennessee continues to see unemployment rates lower than ever before. These numbers are a testament to the state’s investments in education and job creation,” said Haslam. “In just the past three weeks, we have announced more than 2,000 new jobs coming to our state, which sets the path for unemployment to remain low and for Tennesseans to benefit from that job growth.”

Statewide, Tennessee added about 45,000 new jobs between April 2017 and April 2018. The largest increases happened in the leisure-hospitality, professional-business services and education-health services industries.

Nationally, the United States’ unemployment rate showed downward movement for the first time in six months. Since October, the national unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 percent. During April, it dropped 0.2 percent to 3.9 percent. Unemployment nationwide was half of a percentage point lower last month, than it was in April 2017.

“While unemployment remains low here at home and across the nation, many of our neighbors are still out of work or looking for a better job,” said Phillips. “Tennessee is working harder than ever to make sure anyone who wants to work can do so. The state and our workforce partners are in every county helping job seekers and employers make a connection.”

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

Tennesseans who search for employment can access the latest job openings, update their resumes and sharpen their job interview skill by visiting the state’s workforce website. 

The state will release Thursday the April unemployment data for each county.

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