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[Note: Indicators Updated May 7, 2019]
  • The Tennessee economy grew more slowly in March, with softening in both job growth and single-family home construction. The unemployment rate continues to remain extremenly low, however, and wages are rising faster than inflation.
  • Seasonally adjusted weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance in Tennessee rose to 3,194 in March, up substantially from 2,402 in February and the highest level since June of last year. The less volatile trend, however, has changed little in six months, suggesting the March figure may be a temporary increase. [graph]
  • Permits issued for single-family home construction in Tennessee for March increased to 2,200 from the February's 2,053 units. The less volatile trend continues to fall, as it has each month since peaking in June 2018. Total permits, including both single-family and multi-family housing, rose in March. [graph]
  • State sales tax collections for March declined for the third month, down 2.4% from February after seasonal adjustment. Six of the state's ten metropolitan areas experienced a decline in seasonally adjusted state sales tax collections from February. Over the year, however, sales tax collections are 5.8% higher statewide. [graph]
  • Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment for Tennessee declined 3,000 in March from February, the second monthly decline. Over the year, nonfarm employment growth slowed to 1.6% for the state, compared January's growth rate of 2.1%. Six of the ten MSAs in Tennessee experienced job losses from February. [graph]
  • The unemployment rate for December in Tennesseee remained at 3.2% in March, after seasonal adjustment, the lowest level in at least 29 years. The U.S. unemployment rate for March is 3.8%. [graph]
  • Average weekly hours worked declined to 35.2 in March from 35.3 in February, following seasonal adjustment. Over the year, average hours worked are virtually unchanged. [graph]
  • Average hourly earnings for Tennessee are unchanged at $24.10 in March. Adjusted for inflation, average hourly earnings are 3% higher over the year, reaching its highest level since before the Great Recession. [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