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[Note: Indicators Updated February 10, 2018]
  • With the exception of a strong showing by state sales tax collections and a new low for initial claims for unemployment insurance, economic activity in the state slowed in December. Nonfarm employment declined slightly, concentrated in manufacturing and trade, transportation, and utilities sectors. Single-family home construction also dipped in December.
  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance in Tennessee fell to 2,499 per week in December from 2,833 in November, marking a new low after several months of little change. [graph]
  • Permits issued for single-family home construction for Tennessee fell to 2,349 from 2,508 in NovemberOctober, ending a two-month period of gains. Over the year, single family permits are up just 0.5%. Total permits, including both single-family and multi-family permits, are down 15.6% from December 2016. [graph]
  • State sales tax collections jumped 3.9% in December from November after seasonal adjustment, indicating a strong Christmas sales season. Over the year, state sales tax collections are now 8.8% higher. [graph]
  • Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment for Tennessee lost 2,000 jobs in December from November following a smaller November loss. Only the Jackson MSA gained jobs in December, with the other nine MSAs showing losses or no change in jobs from November. Over the year, Tennessee nonfarm employment is 1.0% higher. [graph]
  • The unemployment rate for Tennesseee creeped up to 3.2% in December, but remains lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.1% and much lower from last December. [graph]
  • Average weekly hours worked were unchanged at 35.2 for December, showing little net change over the year. [graph]
  • Average hourly earnings for Tennessee rose to $22.80 in December. Measured in constant 2009 dollars, average hourly earnings are slightly lower than last December. [graph]
    — Research by David Penn, associate professor of economics. Real average hourly earnings are calculated by dividing nominal hourly earnings by the monthly CPI-U for the South published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employment Growth by Industry