Tag Archives: june

TN Unemployment Rate Up to 8.5 Percent in June

News release from state Department of Labor and Workforce Development:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for June is 8.5 percent, which increased two tenths of one percentage point from the May revised rate of 8.3 percent. The national unemployment rate for June 2013 was 7.6 percent, unchanged from the previous month.
Economic Summary:
Tennessee’s June unemployment rate increased to 8.5 percent.
Over the past year, Tennessee’s unemployment rate increased from 8.2 percent to 8.5 percent.
Total nonfarm employment decreased 16,500 jobs from May to June.
The largest decreases occurred in government, manufacturing, and health care/social assistance.
Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 32,000 jobs. The largest increases were in professional/business services, leisure/hospitality, and retail trade.

June State Revenue Again Over Budget (but ‘weak’)

News release from Department of Finance and Administration:
NASHVILLE – Total Tennessee tax collections for June were weak, but exceeded budgeted expectations. Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin reports that overall June revenues were $1.2 billion, which is $3.2 million more than the state budgeted. It marks the 11th consecutive month this year in which total collections have experienced positive growth.
Sales tax collections in June were flat, while corporate tax collections exceeded the budgeted estimate. All other tax sources, taken as a group, were above the budgeted estimates.
“The year-to-date growth rate for all taxes remains low and points to an economy that is still anemic and recovering slowly,” Martin said. “For the remainder of this year, we will continue to closely monitor collections and expenditures.”
On an accrual basis, June is the eleventh month in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
The general fund was over collected by $8.9 million, and the four other funds were under collected by $5.7 million.
Sales tax collections were $0.1 million less than the estimate for June. The June growth rate was positive 1.18%. For eleven months revenues are under collected by $27.8 million. The year-to-date growth rate for eleven months was positive 1.67%.

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Federal Gun Law Nullification Debated, Delayed

Senate Judiciary Chairman Brian Kelsey, comparing himself at one point to Andrew Jackson in 1832, managed to delay Tuesday a vote on legislation that declares Tennessee has a right to nullify federal gun laws and charge federal agents enforcing them with committing a felony.
The committee voted 5-4 to grant Kelsey’s call to postpone a vote on the proposal (SB250) for one week while he seeks a legal opinion from state Attorney General Bob Cooper on whether it would violate the U.S. Constitution.
Sponsor Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mount Juliet, said the U.S. Constitution authorizes states – through their legislatures – to decide the validity of federal laws.
She understands that lawyers believe the Supreme Court is the “ultimate arbitrator” of constitutionality, Beavers said, and that has allowed justics “setting themselves up as a dictator” and “generation after generation we have just accepted that.”
But that is wrong, she said, and the 10th Amendment lets states decide what laws are constitution and which can be ignored or nullified.
Beavers’ view was reenforced by June Griffin of Dayton, who heads the Tennessee Commission on the Bill of Rights. Griffin said Tennessee’s own constitution cast upon legislators – and sheriffs around the state – a duty to resist federal intrusion by supporting the bill.

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Cocke Sheriff Posts Ten Commandmens, Joining 24 Others

Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes placed the Ten Commandments on display in the county’s courthouse Monday, reports WBIR-TV, after becoming the 25th sheriff in Tennessee to request copies of the commandments – along with copies of the Constitution and the bill of rights — from conservative activist June Griffin of Dayton.
Griffin donates the framed display in order to circumvent any argument that taxpayer dollars have been utilized to purchase the religious document. The 25 requests from various sheriffs started in March of this year. That is when Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed a law that permits cities and counties to display the Ten Commandments as a historical document alongside other historical documents.
Unlike many other counties, Cocke County never had to remove the Ten Commandments from its courthouse. In fact, this is the first time the religious document has ever been displayed there.
“To my knowledge, they [the Ten Commandments] have never been anywhere in the courthouse,” said Fontes. “The separation of church and state is to keep the government from interfering and coercing people into one specific belief. Simply posting something does not coerce someone into one specific belief.”

A Partisan Difference of Opinion Over the June Unemployment Rate

Statements from Tennessee’s two political party chairmen indicate a bit of partisan difference over who to criticize about the June unemployment rate, which was 8.1 percent in Tennessee and 8.2 percent nationally.
This statement was sent to media by state Republican Chairman Chris Devaney:
“Today’s jobs report shows that we remain in an economic drought and it’s clear that Obama’s destructive policies have failed to provide much-needed relief for so many families. As President Obama’s first term winds down, the choice becomes more clear – either month after month of 8 percent or higher unemployment with President Obama or a real jobs plan with Mitt Romeny that will get people back to work.”
This statement was sent to media by state Democratic Chairman Chip Forrester:
“June’s unemployment increase is further proof that Tennessee’s economy is suffering because the majority party failed to focus on jobs and failed to protect the middle class. Instead they prioritized rewarding their special interest campaign donors and wasted our time and money arguing extreme legislation that hurts our families.
“After two years of complete Republican control — wages are falling, fewer people are earning paychecks than just a few months ago, and more people are giving up their search for a quality job. We’ve seen enough do-nothing leadership in Tennessee, and it’s time for a new path forward.”

For some context, it should be noted that Devaney’s release was sent after announcement of the national rate; Forrester’s after announcement of the Tennessee rate.

TN June Unemployment Rate: 8.1 Percent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s unemployment rate rose 0.2 percent in June to 8.1 percent.
Karla Davis, commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development, said Thursday the June figure was the highest since January. But it was substantially below the 9.4 percent in June a year ago.
Government and educational services combined declined by 17,400 jobs. After seasonal adjustments, total jobs (excluding agriculture) decreased by 12,100.
The national jobless rate for June was 8.2 percent. Tennessee has been below the national figure for six months.

June’s State Tax Take $125M Above Budget Projections

News release from Department of Finance and Administration:
NASHVILLE – Total tax collections for June were well above budgeted expectations. Finance and Administration Commissioner Mark Emkes reported today that overall June revenues were $1.2 billion, which is $125.4 million more than the state budgeted. It marks the 11th consecutive month this year in which total collections have exceeded the budgeted estimate. Sales tax collections in June exceeded the budgeted estimate by 4.7%, and corporate tax collections continue to outpace estimates, exceeding June expectations by 35.5%.
“The positive growth trend we are now enjoying is encouraging, however, the latest national jobs report point to an economy that is still anemic and recovering slowly,” Emkes said. “For the remainder of this year, we will continue to closely monitor collections and expenditures.”
On an accrual basis, June is the eleventh month in the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
The general fund was over collected by $127.9 million, and the four other funds were under collected by $2.5 million.

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State’s Tax Take Above Estimates Again in June

News release from Department of Finance and Administration:
NASHVILLE – Total tax collections for June were above state budget estimates for the month. Finance and Administration Commissioner Mark Emkes today announced that overall June revenues were $1.07 billion, which is $31.8 million more than the state budgeted. June sales tax collections represent consumer spending that took place in the month of May.
June marks the 11th consecutive month this fiscal year in which total collections have exceeded the budgeted estimates. Sales tax collections in June recorded the 15th consecutive month of positive growth, exceeding the budgeted estimate, and corporate tax collections also performed above June expectations.
“Tennessee’s revenue collections continue to show a positive growth trend, but the latest national leading economic indicators point to a very slow economic recovery,” Emkes said. “This will require us to continue to closely monitor collections and expenditures for the remainder of this year in order to end this fiscal year with a balanced budget.”
On an accrual basis, June is the eleventh month in the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
The general fund was over collected by $31.1 million, and the four other funds were over collected by $700,000.
Sales tax collections were $28.8 million more than the estimate for June. The June growth rate was 6.32%. For eleven months revenues are over collected by $195.6 million. The year-to-date growth rate for eleven months was positive 4.60%.
Franchise and excise taxes combined were $29.6 million above the budgeted estimate of $253.2 million. The growth rate for June was 13.18%. For eleven months revenues are over collected by $47.8 million and the year-to-date growth rate was 6.99%.
Privilege tax collections were $3.7 million below the June estimate. For eleven months collections are $9.7 million below the budgeted estimate.
Business tax collections were $20.3 million less than the June estimate. Year-to-date collections for eleven months are $38.8 million below the budgeted estimate.
Inheritance and estate tax collections were $800,000 below the June estimate. For eleven months collections are $26.7 million above the budgeted estimate.
Tobacco tax collections were $1.6 million below the budgeted estimate of $29.5 million. For eleven months revenues are under collected by $7.2 million.
Gasoline and motor fuel collections for June were over collected by $800,000. For eleven months revenues are over collected by $10.7 million.
All other taxes for June were under collected by a net of $1.0 million
The budgeted revenue estimates for 2010-2011 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation of April 7, 2010 and adopted by the second session of the 106th. General Assembly in June. They are available on the state’s website at http//www.tn.gov/finance/bud/budget.html.
The State Funding Board met on the 8th and 14th of December 2010, and again on February 7, 2011. As a result of these meetings the board adopted mid-year revised revenue ranges for 2010-2011. The board issued a formal letter addressed to the Governor and Chairman of House and Senate Finance Ways and Means Committees dated February 25, 2011 detailing the board’s actions.
The 2010-2011 revised ranges adopted by the board reflect growth rates ranging from 3.60% to 4.00% in total taxes, and 3.95% to 4.45% in general fund taxes.
Based on the board’s consensus recommendation, the official budgeted estimates for 2010-2011 were revised in March 2011.
The revised estimates are reflected on pages A-72 and A-74 in the 2011-2012 Budget Document and assume an over collection in total taxes in the amount of $198.5 million, and an over collection of $161.3 million in general fund taxes.
Year-to-date collections through June compared to the February revision are $77.4 million above the total estimate, and $67.2 million above the general fund estimate. The four other funds that share in state tax collections are $10.2 million above the revised estimate.
The funding board met again on April 12, 2011 to hear updated revenue estimating presentations on the state’s near-term economic outlook for fiscal years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, taking final action on April 15th to revise the February ranges.
The action taken by the board in April recognized an increase at the top of the range for 2010-2011 from 4.00% to 4.15% in total taxes and from 4.45% to 4.50% in general fund taxes. The result of this action increased projected revenues for total taxes by $15.1 million and general fund taxes by $15.2 million for this fiscal year. This increase was recognized in the administration’s budget amendment and adopted by the General Assembly on Saturday May 21, 2011.
Year-to -date collections through June compared to the final action taken by the board and approved by the General Assembly are $62.3 million above the total estimate, and $52.0 million above the general fund estimate.