New data from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) revealed unemployment across the state remained at a historic low in April. The state reached its all-time low unemployment rate in March, and April’s seasonally adjusted rate of 3.2% mirrored the previous month’s record-breaking number.
The April 2022 rate is 1.6 percentage points lower than it was one year ago. In April 2020, unemployment in Tennessee reached its highest level ever at 15.9%. Two years later, the rate is 12.7 percentage points lower than it was during the height of pandemic-related business closures.
The number of Tennesseans in the workforce also hit new highs in April. Statewide, the seasonally adjusted civilian workforce grew to 3,388,426 from March’s total of 3,370,646. The number of Tennesseans employed came in at 3,278,825, compared to 3,261,628 for the previous month.
Employers across the state added 7,700 nonfarm jobs between March and April. The leisure and hospitality sector saw the largest number of new positions. The professional and business services sector had the next biggest increase in jobs, followed by the mining, logging, and construction sector.
Over the last 12 months, the state’s employers added 145,600 nonfarm jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector created the largest percentage of those jobs, followed by the trade, transportation, and utilities sector and the professional and business services sector.
Unemployment across the nation also remained unchanged in April at 3.6%. One year ago, the national rate came in at 6%.
In March of this year, the most recent month for unemployment statistics to be released by the state, Murfreesboro had an unemployment rate of 2.4%. Smyrna’s unemployment rate rang the bell at 2.3% and LaVergne ended March at 2.4%.
TDLWD has produced a complete analysis of the state’s unemployment data for April 2022. That report is available here.
The state offers Tennesseans trying to return to the workforce a variety of free services that can help them find meaningful employment. Job seekers can take advantage of career counseling, job search assistance, and even programs to help pay for necessities such as uniforms and gas. Many of those services are available both online and in person. TNWorkReady.com has all the information needed to get started.
The Tennessee Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report issued by Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office shows that state unemployment dropped to 3.2%, below the national rate of 3.6%.
“Employment exceeding pre-pandemic levels is an important milestone for our state,” said Secretary Hargett. “It reflects Tennessean’s resilience and our leaders’ commitment to a business-friendly environment that encourages investment and job growth. As the economy resets, we are seeing more companies choosing to make Tennessee their new home.”
New business filings in the first quarter of 2022 grew 8.7% from first quarter filings in 2021, marking 42 consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth. Over 77,000 new businesses filed over the past year and 21,353 new entities filed in the first quarter of 2022.
Growth in business filings typically leads to growth in jobs, personal income and state revenue. The largest number of filings in the first quarter were in Shelby County, followed by Davidson, Knox and Hamilton counties. These four most-populous counties accounted for 44.3% of new filings state-wide.
However, most of the year-over-year growth in filings occurred in Tennessee’s other 91 counties. Businesses in those counties expanded by 16.2%, reflecting efforts across the state on workforce development, education, infrastructure and responsible fiscal management.
“Everywhere you look, there’s evidence that the strong economic momentum in Tennessee isn’t slowing down,” said Bill Fox, director of the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research. “Nonfarm employment has not only recovered to pre-pandemic levels, but has exceeded them. Tax revenues are up; personal incomes are up. Our growing economy is not only beneficial to Tennesseans, but attractive to others wanting to move here, too.”
To review the complete Q1 2022 Tennessee Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report, past reports and a teleconference recording about the report with Secretary Hargett and Dr. Fox visit, sos.tn.gov.