New Numbers Show Tennessee’s ‘Staggering Increase in Unemployment’

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development released statistics Thursday showing what they call “a staggering increase in unemployment for each of Tennessee’s 95 counties” in April. This, as many businesses closed to help slow the spread of COVID-19, according to a TDLWD press release.

“The unprecedented and historic spike in unemployment impacted some counties more drastically than others, but no area of Tennessee escaped the pandemic’s effect on the state’s workforce,” the press release said.

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Tennessee Unemployment Rate More Than Quadrupled During COVID-19

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development officials revealed Thursday that the state’s unemployment rate was at its highest-ever, because of COVID-19, according to a TDLWD press release.

“The preliminary seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate for April 2020 is 14.7 percent, which is an unprecedented spike of 11.4 percentage points when compared to March’s revised rate of 3.3 percent. This is Tennessee’s highest unemployment rate in a generation. Before the pandemic, the state’s all-time highest seasonally adjusted rate was 12.9 percent, which occurred in back to back months in December 1982 and January 1983,” according to the press release.

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Tennessee Says Unemployment Filings Went Down in Second Week of March, But That Was Before the Lockdown

In a “what the heck” moment, the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development on Thursday said unemployment filings for two-thirds of counties went down for the second week of March.

The filings were for March 8-14, just before the Chinese coronavirus took a toll.

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Tennessee Unemployment Claims Still High Because of COVID-19, New Numbers Show

Nearly 75,000 Tennesseans were on record as filing unemployment claims as of April 11, according to new numbers the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development put out on their website Thursday.

Residents in Northern Middle Tennessee filed 34,643 claims, the highest regional number, while residents in East Tennessee filed 16,669 claims, according to the TDLWD data.

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COVID-19 Causes the Most Pain for Tennessee’s Hospitality Workers

East Tennessee and Northern Middle Tennessee have two things in common at the moment.

Residents in both regions of Tennessee have filed more unemployment claims than anywhere else in the state because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Also, both areas have a large hospitality industry.

And if tourists may not travel to those areas then, of course, Tennessee’s hospitality industry cannot thrive.

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