Tennessee Unemployment Claims Skyrocket 3,397 Percent from Two Weeks Ago

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Unemployment claims in Tennessee and nationwide continue to skyrocket because of the Chinese COVID-19 shutdown of businesses.

The number of new unemployment claims filed in Tennessee for the week ending March 28 is 94,492. That’s up 141.7 percent from the previous week’s number of 39,096, and a whopping increase of 3,397 percent from the total of 2,702 filings two weeks ago.

Those numbers come from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development, and are available here.

Regional numbers are provided. Northern Middle Tennessee, including Nashville and the densely populated counties of Montgomery and Rutherford, led the other regions with 32,246 claims filed last week. The middle portion of East Tennessee, centered around Knox County, was second with 20,025 claims filed last week.

The U.S. Department of Labor said in a statement:

The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims. Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus. States continued to identify increases related to the services industries broadly, again led by accommodation and food services. However, state comments indicated a wider impact across industries. Many states continued to cite the health care and social assistance, and manufacturing industries, while an increasing number of states identified the retail and wholesale trade and construction industries.

In the week ending March 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 6,648,000, an increase of 3,341,000 from the previous week’s revised level.

This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series.

The previous week’s level was revised up by 24,000 from 3,283,000 to 3,307,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,612,000, an increase of 1,607,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 6,000 from 998,250 to 1,004,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1 percent for the week ending March 21, an increase of 0.9 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 21 was 3,029,000, an increase of 1,245,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the highest level for insured unemployment since July 6, 2013 when it was 3,079,000.

U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said in a statement:

“Similar to last week’s unemployment claims numbers, today’s report reflects the sacrifices American workers are making for their families, neighbors, and country in order to ‘slow the spread.’ The Administration continues to act quickly to address this impact on American workers. That includes a rule the Labor Department adopted yesterday to implement the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and the Department’s work with the States to make available the enhanced unemployment benefits provided in the CARES Act, which the President signed last week. That legislation also contains significant incentives for businesses to retain workers and continue paying them, which will put businesses and workers in a better position to resume work and re-boot the economy once the virus is contained.”

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “Unemployment Insurance Claims Office” by Burt Lum. CC BY 2.0.






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