Unemployment stayed at a record low level last month across Tennessee as employers in the Volunteer State continued to add jobs over the past year despite higher interest rates this year from the monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve.
Tennessee's statewide unemployment rate for August remained at the state's all-time low rate of 3.1%, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The state reached its lowest unemployment rate in July, besting the previous record of 3.2%.
Over the year, Tennessee employers added a net 57,900 more jobs despite a drop of 3,200 jobs in August. Last month's drop in jobs was primarily due to cuts in the interest-rate-sensitive construction and business services sectors, state labor officials said.
Unemployment remained unchanged in August because the drop in employment was matched by a decline in the number of people seeking jobs as school resumed for another year at most schools and colleges. Tennessee's overall workforce last month shrunk by a seasonally adjusted 1,501 workers, according to the state employment report.
jobless in August
— Tennessee's jobless rate was 3.1%, unchanged from July.
— Georgia's jobless rate was 3.3%, up from 3.2% in July.
— The U.S. jobless rate was 3.8%, up from 3.5% in July.
Sources: Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Georgia Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Labor
Unemployment in Tennessee has been at or below 3.5% since January 2022 and remained below the U.S. jobless rate of 3.8% last month. Tennessee career centers Thursday were advertising 233,970 jobs across Tennessee, or more than twice as many open jobs as the 105,653 people counted as unemployed in the state during August.
In neighboring Georgia, unemployment edged up a tenth of a percentage point last month to 3.3% — the highest monthly rate since November 2021. But Georgia's jobless rate in August remained lower than the national unemployment rate of 3.8%.
"Georgia's labor market continues to demonstrate remarkable resilience and strength," Georgia Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson said in a report Thursday. "While we saw a slight increase in the unemployment rate for August, our state remains well positioned for growth and economic opportunity with an unemployment rate below the national average and plentiful jobs for Georgians."
The total number of Georgia jobs was up by 95,700 over the same month a year ago, Thompson said. Employment in the Peach State last month reached an all-time high of more than 5.1 million.
— Compiled by Dave Flessner