Posted on: Monday - Apr 18, 2016

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development released a report stating that at 4.5 percent, Tennessee’s unemployment rate is currently at its lowest since June 2007. The state’s unemployment rate has decreased four-tenths of a percentage point from the February rate of 4.9 percent. The U.S. preliminary rate for March was 5.0 percent, increasing one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month. 

"We’ve worked hard to create the right environment for job creation, and today more Tennesseans have jobs than ever in the state’s history,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said. “While this is always outstanding news for Tennessee’s economy and its workforce, it is even better news for the families throughout our state." 

Tennessee is also exceeding in private sector employment, and our labor force is growing exponentially. To date, TNECD has secured 4,962 job commitments from 52 companies representing an investment of $822 million. 

“This is an unprecedented and historic improvement in our economy. Better yet, our pipeline of prospects considering to locate in Tennessee is over 56,000!” TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd said.

Tennessee employers have tens of thousands of open positions for qualified applicants across the state. With Tennessee’s latest unemployment rate at 4.5 percent for March, there is an abundance of job openings across the state. 

"With the continued decline in the state's unemployment rate, workers have many opportunities available to them when looking for a job. In March, our Jobs4TN.gov website had over 175,000 job openings across the state’s 95 counties,” Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips said.


  • The number of Tennesseans who are unemployed has decreased 20.8% in the last 12 months, the 7th greatest rate of decline in the nation and 2nd greatest decline in the Southeast. 

Unemployment Rate

  • Tennessee's March 2016 unemployment rate of 4.5% is the lowest rate for Tennessee since June 2007, and is 0.5 percentage points lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 5.0%.
  • Tennessee's unemployment rate has declined 1.5 percentage points from March 2015 (6.0%) to March 2016 (4.5%). This is the 2nd largest decline in the nation.
  • Tennessee’s unemployment rate ranks 3rd lowest in the Southeast and 23rd lowest in the nation.

Private Sector Employment

  • Tennessee ranks 1st in the Southeast and 2nd in the nation for private sector job growth of 3.78% in the last 12 months. (March 2015 to March 2016). During this time period, Tennessee’s private sector had a net gain of 92,000 jobs.
  • Private sector employment is the highest ever recorded for Tennessee. (2,527,400 in March 2016).

Labor Force

  • Tennessee’s labor force grew by 2.7% in the last 12 months, the 6th greatest rate of growth in the nation and 2nd highest in the Southeast.
  • The labor force is also the highest ever recorded, at 3.13 million people.

Tennessee Counties, February 2016

  • All 95 Tennessee counties experienced a decline in unemployment rate from February 2015 to February 2016.
  • The greatest decreases occurred in Clay (-3.7 percentage points), Carroll (-3.1 percentage points), McNairy (-2.9 percentage points), Cocke (-2.8 percentage points) and Van Buren (-2.8 percentage points) counties.
  • Counties with the lowest unemployment rates for February 2016: Williamson (3.0%), Davidson (3.3%), Rutherford (3.3%), Moore (3.4%), Knox (3.6%) and Wilson (3.6%).


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Statewide estimates are for March 2016, seasonally adjusted.
County estimates are for February 2016, not seasonally adjusted.