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[Note: Indicators Updated May 14, 2018]
  • March economic indicators for Tennessee are mixed. Nonfarm employment growth has picked up a bit since January, but single-family home construction continues to slide wideways and state sales tax collections are drifting lower from the December peak, following seasonal adjustments. Hours worked and average weekly earnings show little change.
  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance in Tennessee rose to 2,588 in March from 2,422 in February, but continue to remain close to an 18-year low. The less volatile trend declined in March. [graph]
  • Permits issued for single-family home construction for Tennessee fell to 2,299 in March from 2,441 in February. Single-famly permits have changed little since last October. Over the year, single family permits are down 5.5% and total permits are 24.5% lower, indicating a large decline in permits for multi-family construction. [graph]
  • State sales tax collections declined again in March after seasonal adjustment, 4.9% lower than February. Though collections are 10.8% higher from last March, the gain can be attributed to weak collections for March 2017. [graph]
  • Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment for Tennessee gained 4,900 in March and 49,000 over the year. Nine of ten Tennessee MSAs gained jobs over the year, with three increasing more than 2.0 percent. Over the year, Tennessee nonfarm employment is 1.6% higher. [graph]
  • The unemployment rate for Tennesseee is unchanged at 3.4% in March but down from 4.2% a year ago. [graph]
  • Average weekly hours worked is unchanged at 35.2 in March. [graph]
  • Average hourly earnings for Tennessee rose to $23.00 in March and are 2.7% higher over the year. Measured in constant 2009 dollars, average hourly earnings have changed little since January 2017. [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