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April 15, 2004 (615) 741-2257 (OFFICE)
  (615) 308-3705 (CELL)

March Unemployment Rate 5.0 Percent
No Change from February Rate

NASHVILLE - Tennessee's unemployment rate for the month of March is 5.0 percent, the same as the seasonally adjusted February rate of 5.0 percent, Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley announced today.

"Tennessee's unemployment rate remains below the national rate of 5.7 percent," said Commissioner Neeley. "As we move through 2004, the employment picture is encouraging. We are seeing slight seasonal job growth in both the year-over-year numbers and the month-to-month figures in most areas. Losses in manufacturing are slowing down."

The February-to-March nonfarm employment figures show increases in leisure and hospitality jobs, up 5,700. Trade, transportation and utility jobs increased by 3,000 and construction jobs increased 2,600. Month-to-month decreases took place in local government jobs, down by 14,100 due to
the inclusion of temporary election poll workers in February. Manufacturing lost 400 jobs.

From March 2003 to March 2004, educational and health services jobs increased by 6,800. Trade, transportation and utilities jobs increased by 5,700. Decreases took place in manufacturing, down 1,900 jobs. Information jobs also decreased by 900.




* ATTENTION: March 2004 county and MSA rates will be released at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 22, 2004.


NOTE: Information will be available on the Internet; enter "

NOTE: Tennessee's employment and unemployment statistics are based on two major surveys. The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a survey by place of residence providing estimates on the number of people in the labor force, total employment, unemployment, and the unemployment rate. Beginning in January 1992, the CPS data are seasonally adjusted for all states as directed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The business survey collects data by place of work and creates information about jobs in various industries. The business survey data are non-seasonally adjusted at this time.