March Unemployment Rate 9.6 Percent

Thursday, April 16, 2009 | 11:14 am

Rate Up 0.6 Percentage Point from February

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley announced today Tennessee’s unemployment rate for March was 9.6 percent, up 0.6 percentage point from the revised February rate of 9.0 percent. The March rate a year ago was 5.7 percent. The national unemployment rate for March 2009 was 8.5 percent, up from the February rate of 8.1 percent.
“The unemployment rate continues on an upward trend and economists predict Tennessee will face difficult months ahead,” said Labor Commissioner James Neeley. “For the first time in several months, however, we are seeing increases in retail trade and leisure and hospitality employment, which are encouraging signs.”
Major Changes in Estimated Nonagricultural Employment
February 2009 to March 2009
According to the Business Survey, 2,700 job gains occurred in food services and drinking places; 1,300 in general merchandise stores; 700 in building material and garden supply stores; and 600 in nursing and residential care facilities. Major employment decreases occurred in transportation equipment manufacturing, down by 2,100; fabricated metal manufacturing declined by 900 jobs; plastic and rubber products was down by 600; and transportation and warehousing jobs decreased by 500.
Major Changes in Estimated Nonagricultural Employment
March 2008 to March 2009
Transportation equipment was down 11,900; transportation and warehousing lost 7,400; accommodation decreased by 5,100; and finance and insurance decreased by 4,700. Year over year increases occurred in hospitals, up by 6,200; ambulatory health care services increased 4,300; and nursing and residential health care facilities gained 1,400.