State unemployment drops in August

As more Tennesseans return to the workforce, the statewide unemployment rate for Tennessee decreased in August, according to the latest data released by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate in August dropped to 8.5%, down 1.2 percentage points from the previous month’s revised rate of 9.7%. The new rate is 7 percentage points lower than it was in April at the height of the unemployment spike due to COVID-19 business closures.

One year ago, the August statewide unemployment rate was 3.4%, 5.1 percentage points lower than the current statistic.

Tennessee saw the creation of 22,600 new nonfarm jobs between July and August. During the month, the administrative/support/waste services sector reemployed the most Tennesseans. The federal government and the local government sectors followed in the number of jobs created in August.

In a year-to-year comparison of jobs, Tennessee has seen a significant loss of positions as a result of COVID-19’s effect on the economy.

There are currently 142,600 fewer jobs across the state when compared to statistics from August 2019. One of the state’s largest employment sectors, leisure/hospitality, experienced the most job loss. The manufacturing and professional/business services sectors had the next highest number of affected workers.

Nationally, seasonally adjusted unemployment also decreased in August. At 8.4%, the United States unemployment rate fell 1.8 percentage points from the revised July rate of 10.2%

The August rate for the U.S. is 4.7 percentage points higher than it was one year ago.

Thousands of businesses across Tennessee are ready to help the state’s economy rebound by reemploying out of work individuals. Jobs4TN.gov, Tennessee’s workforce development website, currently has 219,000 open positions for all job skill levels.

Job seekers who visit the site will also find online assistance with writing a resume to catch the attention of employers, advice on how to engage and impress during job interviews, and details about potential job training opportunities.

The more than 80 American Job Centers across Tennessee are open for business and offering job seekers one-on-one personalized assistance. Career specialists are ready to work with individuals to devise a reemployment plan that will help them rejoin the state’s workforce. All the assistance is free to anyone who needs help finding a new job or career path.

The state of Tennessee will release county unemployment data for August on Thursday, Sept. 24.