About the Data


  • Nonfarm employment is obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Nonfarm employment is based on a survey of employers performed monthly. Only employers liable for payroll tax are included. This has the effect of excluding the self-employed and certain other categories of employment. 
  • Labor force, total employment, unemployment, and the unemployment rate are also obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  These figures include the self-employed.  This data is based on a monthly survey of households, including several hundred households surveyed in Tennessee.
  • Single-family and total permits are obtained from the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau collects this information monthly from all permit-issuing jurisdictions. The Bureau may employ imputations to estimate missing data.
  • Sales tax collections are obtained from the Tennessee Department of Revenue and include collections from the application of the state sales tax rate only, excluding local option sales tax collections. Out-of-state sales are included in the figures for Tennessee (state total) but are not included in the figures for the MSAs. Collections can suddenly rise or dip due to refunds for retailers that overpaid or settlements related to underpayment. Since collections can fluctuate for reasons unrelated to underlying sales activity, it is better to examine trends rather than month-to-month changes.
  • Initial claims for unemployment insurance are obtained from the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), U.S. Department of Labor. Claims are reported weekly by the ETA for the U.S. and each state. We report a monthly figure consisting of an average of weekly data.
  • Seasonal adjustment is accomplished by the BERC using the X11 statistical routine, with one exception: Tennessee figures for nonfarm employment, labor force, total employment, unemployment, and the unemployment rate are seasonally adjusted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 
  • Real estate transfer tax collections are obtained from monthly reports posted on the Tennessee Department of Revenue website. The tax is 0.37% of the value of a real estate transaction ($0.37 per $100 value). Thus, the taxes collected can change due to a change in the number of transactions or a change in the average value of property transferred.  Since collections can be volatile, we report a trend that smoothes out the short-term peaks and dips. 


We report construction data (building permits) only for the counties for which data is available.


Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) definitions are used to describe the geographic boundaries for the cities for each of the economic indicators, with one exception: sales tax collections. MSA definitions typically include a collection of one or more counties within commuting distance of the central city. Some MSAs include counties beyond the state boundaries. For example, the MSA definitions for Memphis, Chattanooga, Clarksville, and Kingsport-Bristol include counties in other states. Sales tax collections data pertain only to Tennessee counties.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas

* these counties are not included in the sales tax collections figures

  • Chattanooga, TN-GA MSA. Catoosa County, GA*; Dade County, GA*; Walker County, GA*; Hamilton County, TN; Marion County, TN; Sequatchie County, TN.
  • Clarksville, TN-KY MSA. Christian County, KY*; Trigg County, KY*; Montgomery County, TN; Stewart County, TN.
  • Cleveland, TN MSA. Bradley County, TN; Polk County, TN.
  • Jackson, TN MSA. Chester County, TN; Madison County, TN.
  • Johnson City, TN MSA. Carter County, TN; Unicoi County, TN; Washington County, TN.
  • Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA MSA. Hawkins County, TN; Sullivan County, TN; Scott County, VA*; Washington County, VA*; Bristol City, VA*.
  • Knoxville, TN MSA. Anderson County, TN; Blount County, TN; Knox County, TN; Loudon County, TN; Union County, TN.
  • Memphis, TN-MS-AR MSA. Crittenden County, AR*; DeSoto County, MS*; Marshall County, MS*; Tate County, MS*; Tunica County, MS*; Fayette County, TN; Shelby County, TN; Tipton County, TN.
  • Morristown, TN MSA. Grainger County, TN; Hamblen County, TN; Jefferson County, TN. 
  • Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN MSA. Cannon County, TN; Cheatham County, TN; Davidson County, TN; Dickson County, TN; Hickman County, TN; Macon County, TN; Robertson County, TN; Rutherford County, TN; Smith County, TN; Sumner County, TN; Trousdale County, TN; Williamson County, TN; Wilson County, TN.

Facebook Logo  Twitter Logo  

Follow by Email