The unemployment rate is a way to keep track of certain business sectors within the labor force. The Bureau of Labor Statistics measures the unemployment rate on a monthly basis through two surveys and analyzes the data for each state as well as within the nation as a whole. To calculate the jobless rate, the number of unemployed individuals are divided by the total work force population for the area. To be considered unemployed as part of the jobless rate, an individual must be without work through no fault of their own, but able to become employed if an opportunity presents itself. Retired individuals, students, temporary or part-time workers are not considered unemployed. While some economists do not believe the jobless rate is the most effective way to measure the economy as a whole, this percentage is still an important tool in order to make decisions that better influence the labor force, such as policies with the state unemployment insurance program. A low jobless rate means that there are more individuals employed, which directly influences the economy. With employment comes more opportunity to contribute to the economic growth of a state.
Exactly what is the unemployment rate in Tennessee, and how does it differ from other states? The unemployment rate in Tennessee was 4 percent as of May 2017, which is a few tenths of a percentage below the national average of 4.3 percent. The unemployment rate in Tennessee also has dropped over a full percentage point since the end of 2016. This means that the unemployment rate in Tennessee has declined drastically, compared to other states. Job growth has helped, as well as the number of unemployed workers in Tennessee who have left the market, whether due to retirement, finding employment or otherwise.
For those who still find themselves struggling with unemployment in Tennessee, there is an option in terms of temporary wage assistance. Those interested can find out how unemployment insurance benefits work in the state of Tennessee and the eligibility requirements.