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November 20, 2003 (615) 741-2257 (OFFICE)
  (615) 308-3705 (CELL)

Slight Rise From September Rate

NASHVILLE - Tennessee's unemployment rate for the month of October is 5.5 percent, up slightly from the seasonally adjusted September rate of 5.4 percent, Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley announced today. The state rate remains below the September national rate of 6.0 percent. It has been below the national rate for 34 consecutive months.

"Nationally there is evidence of job creation in the September to October unemployment rates. Tennessee is following the pattern of the national economy, but at a slower rate due to our state having a large manufacturing industry and suffering losses in that area," said Commissioner Neeley. "The October 2002 to October 2003 figures continue to show major decreases in the manufacturing industry by 9,000 jobs. The year-over-year major increases show up in educational and health service jobs up by 9,100..

The September-to-October figures show increases in local government educational services jobs, up by 3,500. Slow growth also happened in state government educational service jobs, up by 1,600. Month-to-month seasonal decreases took place in arts, entertainment and recreation jobs, down by 3,000. Accommodations and food service jobs decreased 1,600..

From October 2002 to October 2003, health care and social assistance jobs increased by 7,900. Administrative, support and waste management jobs increased by 4,600. Decreases took place in construction jobs, down by 4,600. Transportation and warehousing jobs declined by 4,100.


* ATTENTION: County and MSA rates will be released on Wednesday, November 26, 2003.


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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.