Tennessee Officials Investigating Unemployment Claims for Those Who Refuse to Work

Tennessee government officials told The Tennessee Star they’ve received about 300 complaints of individuals passing up work for unemployment benefits. According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD), these are the total complaints filed since last March – when Governor Bill Lee first declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19. Unemployment claims have fallen steadily since the beginning of the pandemic – claims reached their height a little over a year ago, totaling over 325,000.

Nearly 264,000 job postings are active currently on the state’s job site alone. As of May 8, TDLWD reported a total of 50,376 continued claims, and the unemployment rate sits at 5 percent. Of 95 counties in the state, only 8 have continued unemployment claims running in the thousands: Shelby, Davidson, Rutherford, Knox, Hamilton, Montgomery, Sumner, and Maury counties. Shelby County leads by far, with over 13,000 continued claims – coming in second is Davidson County with around half that amount: over 6,600 continued claims. 

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Governor Lee Declares End to All Federally-Funded Unemployment, Effective July 3

Tennessee will cease all federally funded unemployment on the eve of Independence Day, Governor Bill Lee announced Tuesday. The governor asserted that work opportunities are abundant – meaning, people can and should get back to work. 

“We will no longer participate in the federal pandemic unemployment programs because Tennesseans have access to more than 250,000 jobs in our state. Families, businesses & our economy thrive when we focus on meaningful employment & move on from short-term, federal fixes,” wrote Lee.

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