March Unemployment Rate Up Slightly, Does Not Reflect Full COVID-19 Impact

Nashville, TN (2020-04-16) Despite the current spike in unemployment across Tennessee, March’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains relatively unchanged, only increasing 0.1 of a percentage point to 3.5%.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development did not see an unprecedented increase in unemployment claims until the third and fourth weeks of March.

The survey the federal government conducts to determine the number of unemployed workers in each state took place in Tennessee between March 8 and 14. This explains why the current unemployment rate does not reflect the struggle many Tennesseans are currently facing.

Nationally, unemployment increased nearly a percentage point in March. The seasonally adjusted rate for the United States is up by 0.9 of a percentage point to 4.4%, when comparing it to February’s rate of 3.5%.

A complete analysis of the March 2020 statewide unemployment data is available here.