Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today that Tennessee's May 2018 statewide unemployment rate of 3.5 percent marked the 11th consecutive month the figure has been 3.5 percent or lower.
While the May unemployment rate represents a slight uptick of 0.1 of a percentage point compared to the April rate of 3.4 percent, year-to-year, it is 0.3 of a percentage point lower than it was in May 2017.
"Back in May of 2011, the unemployment rate was 9.2 percent," Haslam said. "We have made tremendous progress over the last seven years, bringing new businesses to the state and creating hundreds of thousands of new private sector jobs. Tennessee will lead in job creation because we've worked hard to create an environment where businesses can grow and thrive and a skilled workforce ready for the demands of today's employers."
Between April and May of this year, Tennessee added another 7,800 nonfarm jobs. The vast majority of jobs created last month were in the professional/business services industry, which accounted for 4,200 new positions.
Nationally, unemployment dropped for the second consecutive month. The United States unemployment rate for May was 3.8 percent, down 0.1 of a percentage point from the previous month. In May 2017, the national unemployment rate was half a percentage point higher at 4.3 percent.
"To experience nearly a full year of unemployment at 3.5 percent or lower is remarkable," Burns said. "We are working each and every day to continue this forward motion in Tennessee, increasing the quality of life for families across the state."
The statewide unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted to eliminate the influences of weather, holidays, the opening and closing of schools, and other recurring seasonal events from an economic time series.
Tennesseans looking for employment can access the latest job openings, update their resumes, and sharpen their job interview skill by visiting the state's workforce website.
A complete analysis of Tennessee's unemployment data for May 2018 can be found here.
The state of Tennessee will release the May 2018 county unemployment data on Thursday, June 21, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. CT.