Jobless rate in Tennessee falls to an all-time low


Unemployment in Tennessee dropped last month to the lowest level on record after employers across the state added 49,100 jobs over the past year.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development said today that the jobless rate in July in Tennessee fell by two tenths of a percentage point to 3.4 percent.

"A continuing decline in the state unemployment rate is great news for all Tennesseans," Tennessee Labor Commissioner Burns Phillips said in an announcement of the historically low unemployment level. "However, it doesn't matter how low the unemployment rate is if you are out of work. That's why we are not letting up on the push to create new jobs across the state and help improve the quality of life for Tennessee families."

Tennessee's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate during July was eight-tenths of a percentage point below the national jobless rate of 4.4 percent last month and was down by 1.4 percentage points from a year ago when Tennessee's jobless rate was 4.8 percent.

Employment is growing at both new and existing businesses. The Tennessee Secretary of State's office released figures today showing that the number of business filings across the state in the second quarter grew in the past year by 12.4 percent, including an 18 percent gain in business filings in Hamilton County.

"Gov. (Bill) Haslam made job creation a top priority in the state and the hard work of numerous state departments is moving Tennessee toward that goal."

Over the past year, Tennessee's unemployment rate fell a notable one and four-tenths of a percentage point from 4.8 to 3.4 percent. The national rate declined from 4.9 percent to 4.3 percent, a six-tenths of a percentage point change during the same 12-month span.

The household survey of workers showed that the number of jobs in Tennessee grew by 2.2 percent in the past year in Tennessee, well above the 1.3 percent growth in jobs natonwide, according to a separate report also released today.

Between June and July, total nonfarm employment has increased 4,700 jobs. Nonfarm employment has increased 49,100 jobs over the year. Industry increases were greatest in leisure/hospitality, professional/business services, and government.

Source: Times Free Press, Dave Flessner

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit

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