Tennessee residents have filed nearly 250,000 unemployment claims in past three weeks

Initial claims for unemployment insurance are increasing across the nation in the midst of COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock) (Courtesy Fotolia)
Initial claims for unemployment insurance are increasing across the nation in the midst of COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock) (Courtesy Fotolia)

Initial claims for unemployment insurance are increasing across the nation in the midst of COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock) (Courtesy Fotolia)

With the number of cases of the coronavirus in Tennessee surpassing 4,000, businesses in the Greater Nashville area remain closed as residents continue to practice social distancing, resulting in hundreds of thousands of job losses statewide.

More than 112,000 Tennessee residents filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending April 4, bringing the statewide total to nearly a quarter-million claims in the last three weeks, according to data released April 9 by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Additionally, more than one third of the residents who filed claims last week live in the northern part of Middle Tennessee, which includes Davidson County, Williamson County and surrounding counties.

The department said it typically receives fewer than 10,000 new claims statewide in a three-week period.

“As the rate of unemployment claims escalates, [the Tennessee] Department of Labor is projected to pay more than 100,000 claims this week,” Gov. Bill Lee said in a press conference April 7. “The massive number of new claims has required additional resources to make the system run efficiently.”


Tennessee workers who have become recently unemployed can file a claim online at www.tn.gov/workforce/unemployment.

Due to the volume of unemployment claims, officials are recommending residents avoid peak business hours and instead submit claims before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. so as to not overwhelm the system.