Unemployment in Tennessee fell to another historic low last month as employers across the state added another 44,200 jobs over the past year to push unemployment in the Volunteer State to a mere 3 percent of the workforce.
Tennessee's jobless rate, which was well below the comparable U.S. rate of 4.2 percent or Georgia's 4.5 percent rate in September, was the lowest monthly rate in Tennessee since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the information in January of 1976.
"The fact the unemployment rate is down nearly 2 percentage points from a year ago is great news," Tennessee Labor Commissioner Burns Phillips said today. "But if you look back to January of 2010, when the rate was above 10 percent, you can clearly see the progress Tennessee has made since then."
Total non-farm employment increased by 800 from August to September with the biggest gains in retail trade, education and health care.
Average weekly earnings for manufacturing workers in Tennessee also grew last month by $11.51 to $830.19. Although most Tennessee factory workers got bigger increases in their paychecks than the nationwide average gain of $2.53 per week, Tennessee's manufacturing wages last month still averaged 5.7 percent less than the U.S. average.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, who announced the employment numbers today, said the drop in unemployment is proof of the success of the state's education and development efforts.
"Behind these history making figures are real working Tennesseans – people who get up and go to work each day to provide for their families," Haslam said. "As a state, we have invested in our workforce through education programs like Tennessee Reconnect and Tennessee Promise, creating a workforce prepared to fill jobs and increasing the number of high-skilled Tennesseans."