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[Note: Indicators Updated July 6, 2018]
  • Tennessee economic indicators are mixed for May. Payroll jobs rose during the month, with significant gains in professional services and leisure and hospitality. At the same time, however, initial claims for unemployment insurance increased. State sales tax collections cooled in May following a big gain in April, and permits issued for single-family home construction reached a post-recession high, but show only a small gain over the year. Finally, average hours worked and inflation-adjusted hourly pay show little change.
  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance in Tennessee rose sharply in May to 3,726 from 2,464 in April. After considering the increase, initial claims remain at a seventeen year low. [graph]
  • Permits issued for single-family home construction for Tennessee rose to 2,576 in May from 2,501 in April, achieving the highest level in the post-recession period. The less volatile trend increased slightly. Over the year, single family permits are 1.6% higher but total permits are down 1.4% due to a decline in multi-family perimits. [graph]
  • State sales tax collections fell 3.1% in May following a strong April performance, after seasonal adjustment. Collections are level over the year, showing a gain of just 0.4%. The less volatile trend continues to rise, however. [graph]
  • Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment for Tennessee gained 7,800 in May, the largest gain since February. 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 1.8% higher. [graph]
  • The unemployment rate for Tennesseee edged up to 3.5% in May. The U.S. rate has declined to 3.8%. [graph]
  • Average weekly hours worked fell to 35.3 in May from 35.7 in April. Over the year, hours worked have declined 0.6%. [graph]
  • Average hourly earnings for Tennessee are unchanged at $23.20 in May, 2.7% higher over the year. Measured in constant 2009 dollars, average hourly earnings have changed little 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