Graphic provided by TDLWD

State unemployment rate rockets to 14.7%

(TDLWD) Newly released data from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development revealed the state’s highest-ever unemployment rate amid the COVID-19 health emergency. 
The preliminary seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate for April 2020 is 14.7%, which is an unprecedented spike of 11.4 percentage points when compared to March’s revised rate of 3.3%. 
This is Tennessee’s highest unemployment rate in a generation. Before the pandemic, the state’s all-time highest seasonally adjusted rate was 12.9%, which occurred in back to back months in December 1982 and January 1983. 
Total nonfarm employment in Tennessee decreased by 376,900 jobs between March and April. The largest decreases occurred in leisure/hospitality, manufacturing and professional/business services sectors.  Over the last 12 months, nonfarm employment decreased by 341,000 jobs. Like the month-to-month data, the largest decreases for the year occurred in the leisure/ hospitality, manufacturing and professional/business services sectors. 
Since March 15, Tennessee has seen an unprecedented surge in unemployment claims filed. During the week ending May 16, the state paid more than 319,000 claimants nearly $359 million in unemployment benefits.

Nationally, seasonally adjusted unemployment experienced a similar spike as in Tennessee. The April 2020 rate for the United States is 14.7%. That figure represents a 10.3 percentage point increase from the previous month’s rate. 
The statewide unemployment rate is 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. 
You can find a complete analysis of Tennessee’s April 2020 unemployment data here.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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