Tennessee Unemployment Holds Steady During December

Statewide Unemployment Rate Remains at 3.6 percent for Second Consecutive Month
Thursday, January 17, 2019 | 01:53pm

NASHVILLE – New data released Thursday by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips showed Tennessee’s statewide unemployment rate held steady during the final month of 2018.

The seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate for December 2018 was 3.6 percent, which mirrored the rate from the previous month.

“Tennessee’s unemployment rate has remained near historic low levels for a year and a half,” Haslam said. “This is a true testament to the hard work of everyone across state government over the last eight years to create a business environment that gives employers the opportunity to expand and our citizens of the resources they need to be the most prepared workforce in the nation.”

While the unemployment rate remained steady, there were fewer available positions for jobs seekers. Total nonfarm employment decreased by 5,800 in December. The trade/transportation/utilities sector experienced the biggest decline with a loss of 2,800 jobs. Mining/logging/construction is the only sector that saw growth, adding 100 new jobs statewide.

Even with the decline in jobs during the last month of 2018, year-to-year statistics showed Tennessee employers created 59,100 new positions across the state.

“It’s really something to see Tennessee employers add that many jobs in just one year’s time,” said Phillips. “The number of new jobs clearly shows Tennessee is one of the top states in the nation for business growth and development.”

The national unemployment rate increased in December for the first time since June. The United States unemployment rate was 3.9 percent last month, 0.2 of a percentage point higher than it was in November.

The statewide and national unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted to eliminate the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from an economic time series.

Tennesseans searching for new employment can find the latest job openings, receive assistance updating their resumes, and sharpen their job interview skills by visiting the state’s workforce development website.

A complete analysis of Tennessee’s unemployment data for December 2018 can be found here.

The state of Tennessee will release county unemployment data for December 2018 Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. CT.