Tennessee unemployment rate dropped to 6.3% in September

Tennessee’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to an estimated 6.3% in September, the lowest since the start of the COVID- 19 pandemic, according to state data released.

This represents a 2.3 percentage point drop from August’s revised unemployment rate of 8.6%, and a 9.2 percentage point drop from April’s 15.5% rate, which ranks as the highest in Tennessee’s history.

The number of continued unemployment claims has dropped steadily since peaking in early May, signaling the state economy’s gradual return to pre-pandemic levels. During the week ending Oct. 10, 90,507 Tennesseans filed certifications to continue receiving unemployment benefits, a drop from 125,238 continued claims the week before.

Despite the decreasing number of continued claims, thousands of Tennesseans continue to file first-time unemployment claims each week, with 10,145 filing new claims the week ending Oct. 10. Since March 15, 881,725 Tennesseans have filed firsttime unemployment claims.

September’s unemployment rate, though low in comparison to the state’s unemployment rates since April, remains significantly higher than the 3.3% unemployment rate of September 2019.

Tennessee lost 131,500 jobs between September 2019 and September 2020, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The leisure and hospitality, manufacturing and business services sectors bore the brunt of the loss.

Between August and September, Tennessee employers created 11,10 0 new, non-farm jobs, according to the state, with the leisure and hospitality sector making the most new hires, followed by the manufacturing sector and education and health services sector.

The United States unemployment rate fell from 8.4% in August to 7.9% in September. About 898,000 Americans filed initial claims during the week ending Oct. 10, a rise from the previous week.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Cassandra Stephenson

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 www.eteda.org

Published October 21, 2020