NASHVILLE — Tennessee’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly in March, to 5.0%, but the Volunteer State added 15,000 jobs to the economy during the month, according to numbers released Thursday by the TN Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development.
Tennessee employers had the most people on their payrolls in March since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic one year ago. However, the unemployment rate was up a tenth of a percentage point from April’s rate of 4.9%.
The new jobless rate continues to sit near pre-pandemic levels. Over the past year, Tennessee’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate increased from 4% in March 2020 to 5% last month.
Tennessee employers added 15,400 employees to their payrolls between February and March. The most substantial job growth occurred in the trade, transportation and utilities sector. The leisure/hospitality and government sectors followed with the next highest increases in jobs.
In year-to-year comparison, there were 84,300 fewer jobs in March 2021 compared to March 2000. The leisure/hospitality industry experienced the largest decrease in jobs. The education and health services sector, along with the government sector, also had significant job losses over the 12-month period.
Tennessee’s jobless rate remains below the national rate of 6.0%, which was down from 6.2% in February.
There are currently more than 220,000 open positions waiting to be filled in Tennessee. Job opportunities can be found at Jobs4TN.gov.
County unemployment rates for the month of March will be released by the state on April 22.