By Amye Anderson
UCBJ Managing Editor

NASHVILLE – Tennessee closed out 2017 with more than 28,000 new jobs added statewide and a December unemployment rate of 3.2 percent – nearly 2 percentage points lower than the same period in 2016.

This announcement comes from Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips who said a total of 28,700 nonfarm jobs were created in 2017; with the largest increases occurring in the leisure and hospitality industry, followed by education and health services.

Since 2011, more than 391,000 new private sector jobs have been created across the state.

“Jobs are created when businesses put capital at risk, and we’ve created an environment in Tennessee that encourages job growth and is attracting more companies to expand and locate here.” Haslam said. “But we’ve also invested in our citizens through Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect to prepare our workforce for the job demands of today’s employers.”

The jobless rate for December 2017 is 1.9 percentage points less than the rate in December 2016, but a 0.1 percentage point increase from November. The state first marked a historic low unemployment rate in June at 3.6 percent, which was bested by the July rate of 3.4 percent, and then fell even lower in August to 3.3 percent. It hit a new historic low of 3 percent in both September and October before inching up to 3.1 percent in November.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate is still well below the national rate of 4.1 percent, which has held steady since October.

“To have a six month stretch of such low unemployment is great for Tennesseans,” Phillips said. “But we know there are still citizens searching for a good job and the state is ready to help them find that job.”

Employment resources and more information on the unemployment rate and labor force are available at

The state will release the county-specific unemployment rates for December 2017 on Jan. 25.

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