Tennessee statewide unemployment drops for 5th straight month; virtually identical to pre-pandemic levels

Tennessee’s employment situation improved again in October as the statewide jobless rate dropped for the fifth consecutive month. According to the latest data from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD), the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate came in at 4.2% for the month.

October’s rate is 0.2 of a percentage point lower than the previous month’s rate. Looking back one year, Tennessee’s unemployment rate was 7.8%, which is 3.6 percentage points higher than the current rate.

This is the lowest unemployment has been in the state since March 2020, which was the last month before COVID-19 business closures impacted Tennessee’s economy. Then, the rate was 4%, just 0.2 of a percentage point lower than the state’s latest statistic.

Tennessee employers added 6,800 nonfarm jobs across the state between September and October. The manufacturing sector experienced the largest increase in jobs, followed by the professional and business services sector and the mining, logging, and construction sector.

Between October 2020 and October 2021, the number of nonfarm jobs across the state increased by 80,700. The leisure and hospitality sector accounted for the largest number of new jobs. The professional and business services sector saw the next highest increase, followed by the trade, transportation, and utilities sector.
The nation’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also dropped by 0.2 of a percentage point in October to 4.6%. That number is 2.3 percentage points lower than it was in October 2020.

The TDLWD WIRED division has produced a complete economic analysis of October’s unemployment data. You can find statistics, including details on specific industry sectors, here (https://www.us13.list-manage.com/track/click?u=166478db53c066a7d114ea462&id=3cbb303e4b&e=29851e7b63) .

While the state’s unemployment numbers continue to improve, many Tennesseans are still searching for meaningful employment. TDLWD offers a variety of services that can help job seekers land their next gig. From the more than 100 American Job Centers across the state to Jobs4TN.gov with its 420,000 job postings, that assistance is available online or in person.   www.TNWorkReady.com is the site where all those services are listed and made easily available.