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[Note: Indicators Updated October 8, 2018]
  • The Tennessee economy held steady in August: Gains in employment and sales tax collections from July are modest, single-family home construction fell a bit, as did average hours worked. Real hourly earnings, however, show an increase over the year, and unemployment rose as more job seekers entered the labor market.
  • Seasonally adjusted weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance in Tennessee increased to 2,506 in August from 2,088 in July, with the trend remaining unchanged. Initial claims remain extremely low compared with the previous sixteen years. [graph]
  • Permits issued for single-family home construction for Tennessee fell a bit to 2,537 compared with 2,645 in July, more in line with the figures for the previous 18 months. The less volatile trend increased slightly. Single family permits for August are 2.0% higher over the year. [graph]
  • State sales tax collections are little changed in August after seasonal adjustment, down 0.5% from July. Still, collections are 6.1% higher over the year for the state. [graph]
  • Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment for Tennessee gained 2,600 in August from the previous month, a below-average gain compared with the previous two years. Seven of the ten Tennessee MSAs show moderate modest job losses from July. Over the year, Tennessee nonfarm employment is 1.9% higher. [graph]
  • The unemployment rate for August in Tennesseee gained slightly to 3.6%. the unemloyment rate has increased gently from fall 2017 due to a rise in the number of job seekers entering the labor force. The U.S. unemployment rate for August is 3.9%. [graph]
  • Average weekly hours worked dropped a bit to 35.4 in August. Over the year, hours worked have changed little. [graph]
  • Average hourly earnings for Tennessee rose to $23.50 in August, 3.5% higher over the year. Measured in constant 2009 dollars, average hourly earnings are 1.1% 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