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May 20, 2004 (615) 741-2257 (OFFICE)
  (615) 504-6006 (CELL)

April Unemployment Rate Down to 4.9 Percent
Durable Goods Manufacturing Looking Hopeful

NASHVILLE - For the second time this year, Tennessee's monthly unemployment rate is below 5.0 percent, dropping to 4.9 percent for April from 5.0 percent in March, Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley announced today. The state remains below the national rate, which is 5.6 for April, down from 5.7 percent in March.

"A positive sign we're pleased to note is that durable goods manufacturing increased by 400 jobs from April 2003 to April 2004," said Neeley. "This sector has had continuous over-the-year declines since 2000, so an actual increase is good news."

Other gains from April 2003 to 2004 were in trade/transportation/utilities, up by 7,800; educational/health services, increasing by 7,300; and leisure/hospitality, growing by 6,000. Decreases from April 2003 to April 2004 were in nondurable goods manufacturing, down by 1,300; state government decreased by 1,000; and information was down by 900.

"The slight dip in the unemployment rate is supported by moderately strong employment growth across most major industries," said Neeley. Major month-to-month increases were seasonal in nature: leisure/hospitality was up by 9,500 and construction grew by 3,400. Decreases over the month occurred in manufacturing: furniture production was down by 300 jobs; wood products decreased by 300; and transportation equipment lost 200.



* ATTENTION: April 2004 county and MSA rates will be released at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 27, 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.