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March 4, 2004 (615) 741-2257 (OFFICE)
  (615) 308-3705 (CELL)


January Unemployment Rate 4.9 Percent

Low Rate Reflects Federal Household Survey


NASHVILLE-Tennessee's unemployment rate for the month of January is 4.9 percent, down from the seasonally adjusted December rate of 6.0 percent, Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley announced today. 


"The unusual drop in the December-to-January rate is due to unexpected fluctuations from the monthly survey of Tennessee households, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census," said Commissioner Neeley.  "Normally the figure would be somewhat unchanged this time of year and we anticipate next month's figure to be higher."


The December-to-January nonfarm employment figures show increases in professional, scientific and technical service jobs, up by 600.  Increases also occurred in machinery manufacturing jobs, up by 500.  Month-to-month seasonal decreases took place in trade, transportation and utility jobs, down by 26,300.  Leisure and hospitality jobs decreased by 9,800.


From January 2003 to January 2004, educational and health services jobs increased by 7,600.  Professional and business services jobs increased by 5,900.  Jobs in leisure and hospitality rose by 5,900.  Decreases took place in manufacturing, down 4,200 jobs.  State government jobs also decreased by 900.




ATTENTION: Annual average nonfarm (2002-2003) and labor force estimates for 2003 are available upon request.  January 2004 County and MSA rates will be released on Thursday, March 11, 2004.


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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.