August 19, 2004
(615) 741-2257 (OFFICE)

Manufacturing Jobs Show Year-to-Year Increase, First Time in Four Years
July Unemployment Rate 4.5 Percent

NASHVILLE - Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley announced today Tennessee's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July was 4.5 percent, down 1.5 percentage points from July 2003 when the rate registered 6.0 percent. The rate remains the same as last month. Tennessee remains below the U.S. rate for July, which was 5.5 percent.

"The most promising numbers we see this month are the year-over-year figures in manufacturing," said Neeley. "That number has increased 2,300 jobs since last July, spurred particularly by very rapid growth in transportation equipment manufacturing. This is the first time in four years manufacturing jobs have increased in the year-over-year numbers. The year-over-year gains have been realized as monthly manufacturing employment has grown over 3 of the last 4 months."

Major employment increases from month-to-month happened in manufacturing, up 300 jobs. Retail trade, specifically, food and beverage stores, increased with 300 jobs. Nursing and residential care employment also increased, up 300 jobs. Month-to-month decreases followed normal patterns, with local government educational services losing 11,200 jobs for the month. Professional/business services declined 2,600. Leisure and hospitality dropped 1,700 jobs.

Year-to-year changes showed increases in trade/transportation/utilities, up 7,000 jobs; educational/health services, up 5,600; and leisure/hospitality, up 5,600. Decreases occurred in state government, down 900, and merchant wholesalers, gasoline stations, and information, each down 800.



* ATTENTION: July 2004 county and MSA rates will be released at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 26, 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.