Tag Archives: unemployment

Report says automation could replace half TN workforce

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A report released by the state of Tennessee suggests that up to 1.4 million people are at risk of losing their jobs to automation.

Citing a study by the Center for Economic Research in Tennessee, the Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/22qNbBD ) reports that automation could replace nearly 50 percent of the state’s workforce.

The findings were published on the Tennessee Workforce Disruption Index last week. According to the report, automation would change the way the workplace is configured and would make new demands on educational facilities. The report stated that automation will not eliminate labor, but it is likely to reshape the distribution of jobs. It stated that new jobs will be created and people will shift toward existing jobs that require high-level skills.

Randy Boyd, the commissioner of the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development, said that a massive loss of jobs could be avoided by shifting educational resources and by training workers for new career opportunities. He said the people who are most at risk of losing jobs are those who don’t have post-secondary skills.

To address the issue, Boyd said that the department’s solution is its Drive to 55 initiative. He said the initiative can raise post-secondary educational attainment in the state from 37 percent of the population to about 55 percent and could generate $9.3 billion annually.

“So if we fail, it’s cataclysmic,” he said. “If we succeed, it’s glorious.”

The report also concluded that among 12 Southeast states, Tennessee is ninth-most vulnerable to future workforce disruption.

TN unemployment rate 5.7 percent in September

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State officials say Tennessee’s unemployment rate for September remained at 5.7 percent for the fourth consecutive month.

Tennessee Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips said Thursday that over the past year, the state’s unemployment rate decreased from 6.6 percent to 5.7 percent, while the national rate declined from 5.9 percent to 5.1 percent.

The number of unemployed individuals in Tennessee is the lowest since February 2008.

Total nonfarm employment increased by 1,900 jobs from August to September.

The largest increases occurred in state government, educational services and professional/business services.

TN unemployment rate 5.8% — lowest since 2008

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today the Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate for May was 5.8 percent, two-tenths of one percentage point lower than the April revised rate of 6.0 percent. The U.S. preliminary rate for May was 5.5 percent, one-tenth of one percentage point higher than the prior month.

Economic Summary

· Over the past year, Tennessee’s unemployment rate decreased from 6.5 percent to 5.8 percent while the national rate declined from 6.3 percent to 5.5 percent.

· The number of unemployed persons is the lowest since March 2008.

· Total nonfarm employment increased 10,000 jobs from April to May. The largest increases occurred in leisure/hospitality, education/health services, & trade/transportation/utilities.

· Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 53,800 jobs. The largest increases occurred in trade/transportation/utilities, leisure/hospitality, and education/health services.

TN unemployment rate at 6 percent, lowest in 7 years

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee’s unemployment rate has dropped to 6 percent, down from 6.3 percent in March and the lowest rate in seven years.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development said it is the third consecutive monthly decline.

The national rate for April was 5.4 percent, one-tenth of one percentage point lower than the previous month.

Nonfarm employment increased by 6,400 jobs from March to April.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.5 percent to 6 percent in the past year, while the national rate declined from 6.2 percent to 5.4 percent. Nonfarm employment increased by 47,000 jobs in Tennessee in the past year.

State figures show the largest increases from March to April occurred in accommodation/food services, administrative/support/waste services, mining/logging/construction and finance/insurance.

TN unemployment rate down to 6.6% — still higher than national rate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s unemployment rate for December was 6.6 percent, two-tenths of one percentage point lower than the previous month.

Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips said the November rate was 6.8 percent.

The national rate for December was 5.6 percent, also a two-tenths drop from the prior month.

State figures show that nonfarm employment increased by 12,500 jobs from November to December.

The largest increases occurred in trade/transportation/utilities, manufacturing, and mining/logging/construction.

Herron bashes Haslam on TN unemployment rate

News release from Tennessee Democratic Party:
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Roy Herron released the following statement in response to Governor Haslam’s remarks yesterday expressing his confusion about why the state unemployment rate remains so high:

“The governor can’t figure out why Tennessee’s state unemployment rate is one of the five highest in the nation. But his administration’s failures are having dire consequences for Tennesseans all across the state.

“Instead of accepting $1.2 billion this year in 100% federal funding to expand Medicaid, which would have saved 1,800 lives and created tens of thousands of jobs, the governor has done nothing as rural hospitals have closed and urban hospitals have laid off workers.

“Instead of providing scholarships for students or training for workers, the state’s first billionaire governor is abolishing the inheritance tax for billionaires.

“Now, the governor’s proposing drastic cuts to the state budget, which will mean more Tennesseans losing their jobs and more vulnerable Tennesseans like children, the sick, and the mentally ill being denied services. If the governor wants to find the source of Tennessee’s high jobless rate, he should look in the mirror- and change his policies.”

Background

The Associated Press reported yesterday that Governor Haslam said of the unemployment rate, “it’s a little hard for us to understand why that number hasn’t budged” and that “Haslam said he has asked some economists to look into the unemployment statistics to ‘dig back into’ the figures to see if they can find an explanation for Tennessee’s high jobless rate.”

The AP also reported House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh’s response: “Unfortunately, the numbers don’t lie . . . instead of tinkering with those figures, we should focus on the problem which is the neglect of our existing small businesses.”

Governor wonders why TN unemployment rate is so high; Fitzhugh has an answer

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is questioning why Tennessee’s unemployment rate remains well above the national level when other statistics indicate the state’s jobs picture should be improving.

The most recent national unemployment rate released Friday was 5.9 percent — the lowest level since the depths of the Great Recession in July 2008. Meanwhile, Tennessee’s jobless rate was 7.4 percent in August.

Haslam said after a recent jobs announcement in Mt. Juliet that Tennessee is among the top states adding new jobs and that the state is not adding a large number of new claims for unemployment benefits.

“It’s a little hard for us to understand why that number hasn’t budged,” Haslam said. “If you look at the number of net new jobs added, and the people filing unemployment, both of those are going in the right direction in Tennessee.”

Tennessee’s enduring jobless rate is coupled with sluggish revenue collections that have led the governor to have all state agencies prepare for up to 7 percent cuts in the upcoming budget year. Haslam’s critics say the jobless rate and potential spending cuts fly in the face of the governor’s often rosy outlook on the state’s fiscal outlook.

“Unfortunately, the numbers don’t lie,” said House Democratic leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley. “Instead of tinkering with those figures, we should focus on the problem which is the neglect of our existing small businesses.”

Fitzhugh said the Haslam administration has directed its economic development too much on large projects.

Officials in Tennessee should “refocus our efforts to support our existing small businesses,” he said. “They provide the bulk of our jobs, but it always seems like this administration is focused on big, costly out-of-state recruitment.”

Haslam said he has asked some economists to look into the unemployment statistics to “dig back into” the figures to see if they can find an explanation for Tennessee’s high jobless rate.

TN unemployment rate bounced up to 7.1 percent in July

News release from Department of Labor and Workforce Development
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today the Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate for July was 7.1 percent, five tenths of one percentage point higher than the 6.6 June revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for July was 6.2 percent, up from 6.1 percent in June.

Economic Summary

• Over the past year, Tennessee’s unemployment rate decreased from 8.4 percent to 7.1 percent while the national rate declined from 7.3 percent to 6.2 percent.

• Total nonfarm employment increased 3,300 jobs from June to July. The largest increases occurred in mining/logging/construction, financial activities, and retail trade.

• Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 51,900 jobs. The largest increases occurred in professional/business services, leisure/hospitality, and trade/transportation/utilities.

TN unemployment rate in May: 6.4 percent

News release from Department of Labor and Workforce Development
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today the Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate for May is 6.4%, a tenth of one percentage point higher than the 6.3% April revised rate. The U.S. preliminary rate for May is 6.3%, same as the U.S. April revised rate.

Economic Summary:

* Over the past year, Tennessee’s unemployment rate decreased from 8.4% to 6.4% while the national rate decreased from 7.5% to 6.3%.

* Total nonfarm employment increased 6,700 jobs from April to May. The largest increases occurred in leisure/hospitality, retail trade, and local government.

* Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 56,900 jobs. The largest increases occurred in professional/business services, leisure/hospitality, and trade/transportation/utilities.

TN unemployment rate drops to 6.3 percent

News release from Department of Labor and Workforce Development:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today the Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate for April is 6.3 percent, which is four tenths of one percentage point lower than the 6.7 percent March revised rate and equal to the national preliminary rate for April. The U.S. revised rate for March was also 6.7 percent.

Economic Summary:

Over the past year, Tennessee’s unemployment rate decreased from 8.3 percent to 6.3 percent while the national rate decreased from 7.5 percent to 6.3 percent.

The number of unemployed persons (192,000) is the lowest since May 2008 and is 11,700 lower than last month.

Total nonfarm employment increased 2,400 jobs from March to April. The largest increases occurred in mining/logging/construction, leisure/hospitality, and durable goods manufacturing.

Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 48,000 jobs. The largest increases occurred in professional/business services, leisure/hospitality, and trade/transportation/utilities.