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[Note: Indicators Updated July 2, 2019]
  • Housing construction and household spending rebounded in May, as single-family construction and sales tax collections posted larged gains. Employment increased modestly, and real hourly earnings remained stable.
  • Seasonally adjusted weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance in Tennessee rose to 2,666 in May from 2,419 in April. The trend for initial claims is rising slightly, but remains at a very low level. [graph]
  • Permits issued for single-family home construction in Tennessee jumped to 2,647 in May, the highest monthly level since 2007. Over the year, single-family permits are up 5%, while total permits are 23.9% higher. [graph]
  • State sales tax collections rose substantially again in May, gaining 2.8% from April after seasonal adjustment. Seven of the state's ten metropolitan areas experienced a gain in seasonally adjusted state sales tax collections from April. Over the year, sales tax collections are 8.2% higher statewide. [graph]
  • Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment for Tennessee rose 3,900 in May from April, equalling the average monthly gain over the previous 12 months. Nonfarm employment growth is 1.6% over the year for Tennessee. Over the year growth rates for seven of the ten MSAs are higher than the state average for April. [graph]
  • The unemployment rate for May rose a bit to 3.3% after seasonal adjustment, near the lowest level in at least 29 years. The U.S. unemployment rate for May is 3.6%. [graph]
  • Average weekly hours worked are 35.2 in May, little different from the previous three months. Average hours worked are down 0.6% from last May. [graph]
  • Average hourly earnings for Tennessee reached $24.20 in May, a post-recession high. Adjusted for inflation, average hourly earnings are 2.9% higher over the year. [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