Tennessee sees 'highest unemployment rate in a generation'

Published: May. 21, 2020 at 2:58 PM EDT
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The pandemic has had a "staggering impact" on employment in Tennessee, according to numbers released by the state.

According to information from Tennessee's Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD), the preliminary unemployment rate for April 2020 was 14.7 percent, "an unprecedented spike" of more than 11 percent when compared to March's revised unemployment rate of 3.3 percent.

"This is Tennessee’s highest unemployment rate in a generation. Before the pandemic, the state’s all-time highest seasonally adjusted rate was 12.9%, which occurred in back to back months in December 1982 and January 1983," said a release from the department.

According to the report, total nonfarm employment saw the loss of 376,900 jobs between March and April, with the largest losses occurring in leisure/hospitality, manufacturing and professional/business services.

The report said that over the last 12 months, nonfarm employment decreased by 341,000 jobs.

"Since March 15, Tennessee has seen an unprecedented surge in unemployment claims filed. During the week ending May 16, the state paid more than 319,000 claimants nearly $359 million in unemployment benefits," the report said.

The nationwide unemployment rate for April is also 14.7 percent.

Copyright 2020 WVLT News. All rights reserved.

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