New Tennessee unemployment claims hold steady; Nearly 185K continue filing for benefits

Another 12,035 Tennesseans filed first-time unemployment claims last week, bringing the state total since March 15 to more than 818,000.

The number of new weekly unemployment claims has hovered between 10,000 and 14,000 for the last five weeks — among the lowest weekly figures since the COVID-19 pandemic rocked Tennessee’s economy in March.

In a typical month before the pandemic, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development processed about 15,000 claims. 

The number of Tennesseans who file weekly certifications to continue their unemployment claims has dropped steadily since early May. The week ending Aug. 29, 184,781 continued their claims.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.5% in July, according to preliminary calculations — a slight decline from the state’s revised June rate of 9.6%. Tennessee’s unemployment rate has dropped steadily since peaking at a historic 15.5% in April.

Nationally, 881,000  initial jobless claims were filed the week ending Aug. 29. 

Cassandra Stephenson covers business for The Tennessean. Reach Cassandra at or at (731) 694-7261. Follow Cassandra on Twitter at @CStephenson731.


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