Tennessee unemployment rate falls to 5.1% for January, stays below national average

Despite the gains in employment, the rate is still high compared to last year’s unemployment rate of 3.7%, before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The unemployment rate in Tennessee fell over January, according to the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development. 

The rate fell to 5.1%, according to a release from officials. In December 2020, the unemployment rate was reported at 5.6%. 

Around 2,100 education jobs were added in the state compared to December 2020, officials said. Trade, transportation and utility jobs also grew by around 1,800.

Most of the losses in the state were in leisure and hospitality jobs, officials said. Government jobs and business service jobs also reported significant losses, officials said.

Despite the gains in the number of people with jobs, the department said that earnings fell compared to the last month in the manufacturing sector. Average weekly earnings were reported at around $875, compared to $910 in December.

The state’s overall civilian labor force shrunk by 21,503 compared to January 2020, officials said. Around 3.1 million people in the state were unemployed, according to a report.

Nationally, the unemployment rate also fell to 6.3% in January. Earnings also fell by around $15 per week in the U.S., according to a report from the state’s labor department. Officials said that around 159 million people made up the country’s civilian labor force. It shrunk by around 4.3 million people compared to last year.