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Unemployment Across Tennessee Drops Ahead of Holiday Season

NASHVILLE – Unemployment across Tennessee decreased significantly in November 2020, according to newly-released data from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD).

Tennessee’s preliminary, seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for November is 5.3 percent, a 2.0 percentage point drop from October’s revised rate of 7.3 percent. The new statistic is just 2.0 percentage points higher than the state’s unemployment rate one year ago in November.

The current rate is also 2.0 percentage points higher than it was in March 2020, just one month before the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Tennessee. In April, Tennessee’s unemployment reached its all-time high of 15.5 percent.

Total non-farm employment increased by 2,100 jobs between October and November. The manufacturing sector recorded the largest number of new hires for the month, followed by the trade/transportation/utilities and mining/logging/construction sectors.

When comparing year-to-year statistics, Tennessee’s employment decreased by 112,800 jobs between November 2019 and November 2020. Leisure/hospitality continues to be the hardest hit sector across the state. The manufacturing and government sectors have also experienced significant job loss when compared to 2019.

While seasonally-adjusted unemployment was down nationally in November, the nation did not see the improvement in its jobless rate Tennessee experienced. The United States unemployment rate for the month decreased to 6.7 percent, down 0.2 of a percentage point from October’s revised rate of 6.9 percent.

Tennessee employers continue to help the state’s economy rebound and are searching for employees of all skill levels.

Currently, on the state’s workforce development website,, job seekers can find more than 240,000 open positions in a wide range of occupations and skill levels.

The state also recently launched the Tennessee Virtual American Job Center (VAJC). The new website is located at It allows Tennesseans to research different programs, from different state agencies, that can help them remove barriers to employment, so they can more easily reenter Tennessee’s workforce. The VAJC allows job seekers to do this on their schedule, anytime, anywhere.

The state of Tennessee will release the November 2020 unemployment rates for all 95 counties today, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020.


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