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January 22, 2004 (615) 741-2257 (OFFICE)
  (615) 308-3705 (CELL)

Slight Decrease from November Rate

NASHVILLE - Tennessee's unemployment rate for the month of December is 5.7 percent, down slightly from the seasonally adjusted November rate of 5.8 percent, Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley announced today.

"After three years of staying below the national unemployment rate, Tennessee and the U.S. were both at 5.7 percent in December. With the recent declines in the U.S. rate, we hope to follow this downward trend and soon be below the U.S. rate again," said Commissioner Neeley.

The November-to-December figures show increases in retail trade jobs, up by 3,300. Increases also happened in professional/business service jobs, up by 1,600. Month-to-month seasonal decreases took place in leisure and hospitality jobs, down by 2,100. Construction lost 1,800 jobs, and manufacturing jobs decreased 1,700.

From December 2002 to December 2003, educational and health services jobs increased by 8,900. Administrative, support and waste management jobs increased by 4,600. Jobs in food service and drinking places rose by 3,200. Decreases took place in manufacturing, down 6,800 jobs. Construction jobs decreased 4,600. Transportation and warehousing jobs dropped 4,000.




* ATTENTION: County and MSA rates will be released on Thursday, January 29, 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.