Press Releases

8.7% Unemployment Rate Lowest Since ’08

Press Release from Department of Labor and Workforce Development; Jan. 19, 2012:


NASHVILLE – Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development Karla Davis announced today Tennessee’s unemployment rate for December fell to 8.7 percent, down from the November revised rate of 9.1. The national unemployment rate for December 2011 was 8.5 percent, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the November rate.

“This is the lowest unemployment rate Tennessee has experienced since December 2008 when the rate was 8.4 percent,” Commissioner Davis said. “The drop in Tennessee’s rate is largely due to a notable increase of 11,200 employed persons from November to December.”

UT Economist Bill Fox states the Tennessee rate parallels the national picture. “The drop in Tennessee’s unemployment rate mirrors what is happening nationally, but Tennessee has had much stronger employment growth.”

Major Changes in Estimated Nonagricultural Employment

November 2011 to December 2011

From November to December, professional and business services increased 5,400 jobs; durable goods manufacturing was up by 1,000 jobs; and clothing and clothing accessories stores increased by 700 jobs. From November to December, leisure and hospitality decreased by 3,500 jobs; state government educational services was down 2,500 jobs; and mining, logging, and construction declined by 1,900 jobs.

Major Changes in Estimated Nonagricultural Employment

December 2010 to December 2011

Year-over-year increases took place in local government education services, up 11,200 jobs; mining, logging, and construction was up 7,100 jobs; and manufacturing increased by 6,900 jobs. Employment decreases took place in trade, transportation, and utilities, which were down by 5,500 jobs; information was down 1,300 jobs; and hospitals declined by 900 jobs.

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