Tennessee Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.1 Percent

Nashville, TN (2017-04-20) Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development (TDLWD) Commissioner Burns Phillips has announced the preliminary unemployment rate for March was 5.1 percent, positively shifting from February’s revised rate of 5.3 percent. The reduction matched the U.S. preliminary rate’s decline of two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.5 percent.

“This report shows Tennesseans are finding work in a growing workforce,” shared Commissioner Burns Phillips.

Over the past year, Tennessee’s unemployment rate increased by half a percentage point to 4.6 percent, while the national rate of 5.0 percent decreased by half a point. TDLWD’s commissioner continued, “When the labor force grows quicker than residents can find work, unemployment rates take a hit and that’s exactly what we’ve seen over the past 12 months.”

From February to March, the total nonfarm employment increased by 8,600 jobs. The largest increases occurred in administrative/support/waste services, local government, and state government.

“We’re bringing a great number of job opportunities to the state, helping us achieve our main objective of putting the people of Tennessee to work. This month’s rate shows the hard work of several state agencies is paying off,” Burns concluded.

Nonfarm employment increased over the year by 63,500 jobs. The largest increases occurred in the following industries: professional/business services, leisure/hospitality, and trade/transportation/utilities.