Tennessee’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continues to improve, as unemployment numbers have decreased for the sixth consecutive month.

According to data released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD), the unemployment numbers have dropped to pre-pandemic levels.

The latest numbers revealed that the state maintained a 4 percent unemployment rate in November, a .2 percent decrease from October. Furthermore, the numbers are a 1.6 percent drop from November 2020. During April 2020, the state witnessed its highest unemployment rate in history, as the economic shutdowns spiked and at least 15.8 percent of Tennesseans could not find a job.

In an effort to assist the state’s residents in securing a job, TDLWD developed a comprehensive website to search open positions, and it currently contains more than 400,000 openings.

“Thanks to the hard work & resilience of Tennesseans, our state’s strong economic recovery has accelerated back to pre-pandemic levels for unemployment & GDP,” tweeted Governor Bill Lee.

“This significant milestone is a testament to our fiscally responsible approach & commitment to meaningful work. While we continue strengthening our workforce, TN families & businesses will enter the New Year in a new, hopeful chapter for our state’s economy,” he added.

Earlier this year, when unemployment numbers remained consistent, Lee elected to opt out of additional federally-funded unemployment compensation. The funds paid individuals hundreds of extra dollars each month while the economy began to recover.

Lee and other opponents to the program argued that the added funds incentivized individuals to not secure employment.

“We will no longer participate in the federal pandemic unemployment programs because Tennesseans have access to more than 250,000 jobs in our state. Families, businesses & our economy thrive when we focus on meaningful employment & move on from short-term, federal fixes,” Lee said at the time.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]