Tennessee unemployment drops to pre-pandemic levels

Six consecutive months of decreasing unemployment rates in Tennessee

NASHVILLE – Tennessee’s unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level since March 2020, the last month before COVID-19 business closures impacted workers across the state. According to new data from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD), Tennessee recorded an unemployment rate of 4% in November 2021.

The new seasonally adjusted rate is down 0.2 of a percentage point from October and it matches the March 2020 rate. In a year-to-year comparison, the November figure dropped by 1.6 percentage points.

Tennessee experienced its highest unemployment ever in April 2020 when the rate spiked to a historic 15.8%.

Business owners increased employment across the state by 4,900 jobs between October and November. Tennessee’s leisure and hospitality sector accounted for the largest number of hires during the month. The trade, transportation, and utilities sector, along with the manufacturing sector, had the next highest number of new jobs.

Over the year, nonfarm employment grew by 87,800 jobs in Tennessee. The largest gains occurred in the leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and the trade, transportation, and utilities sectors.

Unemployment also dropped nationwide in November. The seasonally adjusted rate for the month came in at 4.2%, down 0.4 of a percentage point from October’s rate. One year ago, the national rate was 2.5 percentage points higher.

TDLWD has produced a complete analysis of the November 2021 unemployment data. That information is available here.

While the state’s unemployment numbers have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, many Tennesseans are still searching for good, steady employment. TDLWD offers a variety of services that can help individuals land their next job. With more than 100 American Job Centers across the state and Jobs4TN.gov with its 410,000 job postings, assistance is available online or in person. www.TNWorkReady.com is the site where all those services are listed and made easily available.

The state of Tennessee will release the latest county unemployment rates on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021, at 1:30 p.m. 

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