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[Note: Indicators Updated March 19, 2019]
  • The job market improved for workers in January, as Tennessee experienced fewer layoffs, moderate job growth, higher real pay, and a very low unemployment rate. Housing construction continues to weaken and sales tax collections ebbed in January, however.
  • Seasonally adjusted weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance in Tennessee dropped for the fourth month to 2,157 in January, down from 2,472 in December, a new low. Over the year, initial claims are 11.9% lower and remain extremely low by historical standards. [graph]
  • Permits issued for single-family home construction for Tennessee for December fell to 2,053, a decline of 16.4% from November after seasonal adjustment. The less volatile trend has declined every month since peaking in June 2018. Total permits, including both single-family and multi-family housing, also declined from November. [graph]
  • State sales tax collections declined in January 2019 after experiencing large gains in the previous two months, falling 1.6% from December after seasonal adjustment. All but one metropolitan area experienced a decline in seasonally adjusted state sales tax collections from December. Over the year, however, sales tax collections are 4.2% higher statewide. [graph]
  • Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment for Tennessee gained 8,300 in January from December, a rise of 0.3%. Over the year, nonfarm employment growth is 2.0% for the state, modestly accelerating from a low of 1.5% last summer, according to newly benchmarked employment figures. Nine of the ten MSAs in Tennessee experienced job gains from December. [graph]
  • The unemployment rate for December in Tennesseee remained at 3.3% after seasonal adjustment, according to the newly benchmarked figures. The U.S. unemployment rate for January is 4.0%. [graph]
  • Average weekly hours worked declined to 35.0 in January from 35.4 in December, following seasonal adjustment. Over the year, average hours worked are 2.3% higher for Tennessee. [graph]
  • Average hourly earnings for Tennessee are unchanged at $23.90 in January. Adjusted for inflation, average hourly earnings reached its highest level in at least 12 years. [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