Press Releases

Unemployment Rate Continues to Rise in TN

Press Release from Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development; March 17, 2011:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development Karla Davis announced today Tennessee’s unemployment rate for February was 9.6 percent, up 0.2 from the revised January rate of 9.4 percent. The national unemployment rate for February 2011 was 8.9 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than the January rate.

“Tennessee had 15,400 who entered the labor force — more than 10,000 of whom were able to find jobs,” said Commissioner Karla Davis. “The unemployment rate increase is largely attributable to the remaining 5,000 workers who were unable to find work.”

“As another positive sign, the business survey shows we’ve added 35,000 jobs since last February across a diverse range of industries. The year-over-year growth rate of 1.4% shows Tennessee’s employers are beginning to regain jobs lost during the recession,” Davis added.

Major Changes in Estimated Nonagricultural Employment

January 2011 to February 2011

According to the Business Survey, government increased by 4,600 jobs (state and local educational services); private educational and health services increased by 4,400 jobs; and leisure and hospitality increased by 3,100 jobs. Major employment decreases occurred in retail trade, down by 3,500; transportation and warehousing declined by 800; and accommodation declined by 500 jobs.

Major Changes in Estimated Nonagricultural Employment

February 2010 to February 2011

Year-over-year increases occurred in private educational and health services, up by 11,700; professional and business services gained 9,900; and mining and construction was up by 7,800. Year-over-year decreases occurred in nondurable goods manufacturing, down by 2,500; retail trade lost 2,100; and information decreased by 1,400.

Press Releases

Davis Picked to Direct Labor Department

Press Release from Bill Haslam, Gov.-elect of the State of Tennessee, Jan. 14, 2011:

Memphian’s Career Shows Hands-On Experience with Workforce Issues

NASHVILLE– Tennessee Governor-elect Bill Haslam named Karla Davis as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Since 2006, Davis has been Director of Urban Strategies Memphis Hope, managing and overseeing the Community and Supportive Services Program for three U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOPE VI public housing redevelopment projects and two HUD ROSS Grant projects in Memphis.

Davis previously worked in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for 16 years, rising to become an Environmental Justice program manager covering six states. As program manager at the EPA, she focused on environmental and human health improvements and community revitalization in distressed urban areas.

“Karla Davis brings an outstanding record of accomplishment and management skill to the Cabinet, and I’m looking forward to working with her to help Tennesseans,” Haslam said. “Her focus on helping to revive communities and families shows her commitment to making our state a better place, and I’m honored she is a part of the team.”

Davis is Chair of the Tennessee Local Workforce Investment Area 13 Youth Council and a member of the Memphis City Beautiful Commission and Shelby County Families First Advisory Council. For the last three years, she has been a member of the Annual Grants Committee for the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis and she’s a member of Leadership Memphis’s Class of 2009.

“I’m honored to accept this appointment, and I’m thrilled to serve Tennesseans,” Davis said. “I look forward to working with the great staff at the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Many challenges face our state and our workforce, and I know we can work together to affect positive change in Tennessee.”

Davis has a bachelor’s in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She and her husband, Terence, reside in Memphis, Tenn.