jobs | Nashville Public Radio


Julieta Martinelli / WPLN (FILE)

A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to change a law that blocks people with criminal records from getting licensed for certain jobs.


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's administration is re-implementing the work requirement to receive foods stamps in most of Tennessee's 95 counties — one in a series of measures that state officials say are intended to get more Tennesseans back into the workforce.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Tennessee's unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in at least four decades — just 3.6 percent — and other measures of the state's jobs market are also looking stronger.

Gov. Bill Haslam announced Thursday that the share of Tennesseans who want jobs but can't find them has reached its lowest point since the state began keeping records in 1976. The unemployment rate has also dipped nearly a percentage point below the national figure, which stands at 4.4 percent.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

Tennessee's unemployment rate has approached a low-water mark — 4 percent — and the market for jobs appears to be strong statewide.

In a major reversal from a few years ago, only one of Tennessee's 95 counties has an unemployment rate higher than 5 percent: Rhea County on the Cumberland Plateau in East Tennessee. In the Nashville metropolitan area, unemployment stands at just 2.1 percent, one of the lowest rates among big cities in the nation.

That stands in stark contrast to the worst part of the recession in 2009, when unemployment peaked at more than 10 percent statewide and, in some corners of Tennessee, topped 20 percent.

TN Photo Services (file)

Tennessee companies have been increasingly intrigued by a throwback to apprenticeships. And President Trump is hoping to spark a revival. He has announced a loosening of Labor Department regulations and a boost to government grants, which could entice some who've been on the fence.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

A Chinese-owned company that makes memory foam pillows and mattresses opened its first American manufacturing plant in La Vergne on Tuesday.

Sinomax, which has provided products for Walmart stores since 2006, invested $28 million in the new facility and is expected to create 350 local jobs. 

opportunity now
Mayor's Office

Mayor Megan Barry rolls out the next step in her youth employment project on Friday. She’ll unveil the “Opportunity NOW” job portal at Pearl Cohn High School, creating a way for more teens to connect to jobs and paid internships.

Anna Butrico / WPLN

Nashville employers are still hiring summer help. And the annual ritual could gain significance as city leaders try to reduce youth violence by increasing job opportunities for young people.

Nashville pool lifeguard Hartman
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

As Metro Nashville begins hiring teenagers for seasonal summer jobs there’s a big push to hire more than in recent decades, and for a wider array of positions — a major prong in Mayor Megan Barry’s plan to reduce youth violence.

One government department — Metro Parks — could be the one to account for much of the expansion.