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Haslam announces lowest unemployment rate in Tennessee history

Staff Reports • Updated Jul 25, 2017 at 9:00 AM

NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced Thursday that Tennessee’s unemployment rate for June was 3.6 percent, the lowest in Tennessee recorded history.

The June preliminary seasonally adjusted rate surpasses the previous low of 3.7 percent from March 2000. The state has not experienced an unemployment rate below 4 percent since it was 3.9 percent in February 2001.

“What’s truly exciting about today’s news is that this is a statewide story,” Haslam said. “Today more than ever, businesses have a choice of where to grow or expand, and because of the policies this administration has put in place working with the General Assembly, we’re seeing the job growth that comes when businesses choose Tennessee.”

June’s rate declined .4 percent from the May revised rate of 4 percent. Amid notable improvements in Tennessee’s unemployment rate, the national preliminary rate increases by .1 percent from the previous month to 4.4 percent, lingering in the 4 percentile.

“When a state’s rate declines during a national uptick in unemployment, that’s something to note,” Phillips said. “Just seven years ago more than 10 percent of Tennesseans were out of work. One of Gov. Haslam’s top priorities has been to make Tennessee the best state in the southeast for high quality jobs. All indications point to that priority becoming a reality.”

This month’s unemployment shift is largely due to declines in the seasonally adjusted labor force. Over the past year, Tennessee has led the decrease in seasonally adjusted unemployment rates, declining from 4.7 percent to the current 3.6 percent, while the national rate declined half a percentage point from 4.9 percent to 4.4 percent.

Between May and June, the total nonfarm employment has increased by 5,900 jobs. The largest industry increases happened in leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation and utilities; and mining, logging and construction.

Nonfarm employment increased by 59,300 jobs within a 12-month span. Industry increases were greatest in professional and business services; trade, transportation and utilities; and leisure and hospitality industries.

The Employment Security division’s labor market information specialists prepare the economic analysis and labor force estimates. The division reports metrics and contextual information as it relates to employment, income and population in Tennessee. Labor force topics are narrated in monthly newsletters and additional resources available at jobs4tn.gov.

The county unemployment release for June was published Thursday.

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