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June 17, 2004 (615) 741-2257 (OFFICE)
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May Unemployment Rate Down to 4.8 Percent
Seasonal patterns apparent

NASHVILLE - Tennessee's unemployment rate continues to decline slightly, registering 4.8 percent for May, down from 4.9 percent in April, Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley announced today. The national rate is 5.6 percent for May, the same as it was in April.

"We're seeing normal seasonal patterns in the May figures as businesses get ready for summer," said Neeley. "Construction added 2,400 jobs over the month, and food services/drinking places increased by 2,500. State government educational services declined by 2,800 as schools began closing for the summer."

Neeley noted that the slight increase in durable goods manufacturing over the year continues, as that sector added 700 jobs from May 2003 to May 2004. Other yearly gains were in trade/transportation/utilities, up 7,100; educational/health services, up 6,600; and leisure/hospitality, up 5,900. Decreases from May 2003 to May 2004 were in state government, down 1,000; nondurable goods manufacturing, down 800; and electrical equipment/appliances manufacturing, down 800.



* ATTENTION: May 2004 county and MSA rates will be released at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 24, 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.