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[Note: Indicators Updated January 10, 2019]
  • The Tennessee economy held steady in November with the exception of sales tax collections. Nonfarm employment rose by 2.0% over the year, very similar to recent months. Initial claims for unemployment insurance are steady, as is the unemployment rate and average hours worked. The real wage gained over the year, rising to pre-recession levels. The most positive news is the large gain in state sales tax collections, up substantially over the year.
  • Seasonally adjusted weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance in Tennessee are lower in November at 2,512 compared with 2,614 in October, reflecting slighlty lower layoff activity. Initial claims have been relatively level over the past nine months and remain extremely low by historical standards. [graph]
  • Permits issued for single-family home construction for Tennessee are not available for November due to the partial Federal government shutdown affecting the Census Bureau. [graph]
  • State sales tax collections boomed in November, gaining 5.7% from the previous month after seasonal adjustment. Over the year, sales tax collections are up 9.1% statewide for November. Significant gains were widespread, as eight of the ten metropolitan areas experienced gains of 5% or more over the year, led by a 9.9% gain for the Knoxville MSA. [graph]
  • Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment for Tennessee gained 3,400 in November from the previous month, a gain of 0.1%. Over the year, nonfarm employment growth is 2.0%, little changed from 1.9%-2.0% over the past five months. Just three of the ten Tennessee MSAs show gains of 2% or more over the year, with one MSA experiencing a decline. [graph]
  • The unemployment rate for November in Tennesseee dipped to 3.6% from 3.7% for October after seasonal adjustment. The U.S. unemployment rate for November is 3.7%. [graph]
  • Average weekly hours worked dropped slightly to 35.2 in November from 35.4 in the previous month. Over the year, average hours worked are unchanged. [graph]
  • Average hourly earnings for Tennessee rose to $23.80 in November from $23.50 in October, returning to the September level. Adjusted for inflation, average hourly earnings are 2.8% higher over the year, returning to the pre-recesssion (2007) level. [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