Tennessee's Jobless Rate, Confusing but Positive

Mar 7, 2014

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development has released a positive but somewhat contradictory jobs report for the month of January.

The unemployment rate fell dramatically between December and January, dropping five-tenths of one percent to 7.2 percent. That’s the lowest rate Tennessee has seen since September of 2008.

Confusing matters, the report also says that total non-farm employment in the state fell by 2100 jobs, with the biggest losses coming in the manufacturing and government services sectors.

The Department of Labor’s Jeff Hentshell explains that the jobless rate is compiled from three sources, including a survey of businesses, a household survey, and unemployment claims.

“In different months you’ll have different things that will weigh in more heavily. This month it’s the household survey. The household survey showed and increase in the amount of people who were employed by 19,000, and then we had decrease in the amount of people who were unemployed by 15,000.”

Tennessee’s jobless rate still stands well above the national rate, which currently stands at 6.6 percent.