published Thursday, June 18th, 2009

May jobless rate jumps to 10.7% in Tennessee

Unemployment in Tennessee jumped into the double digits last month for the first time in more than 25 years, the state jobs agency reported today.

The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development reported that May’s jobless rate increased by eight-tenths of a percent to 10.7 percent. Tennessee’s unemployment rate continued above the national rate of 9.4 percent in May and was the highest last month since November 1983.

“We are continuing to outpace the national unemployment rate,” Tennessee Labor Commissioner James Neeley said. “Our goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction, only makes up about 16 percent of Tennessee’s economy. Those industries, however, have seen more than half of the total job losses in the past year.”

The state’s biggest job losses over the past year came in manufacturing, down by 46,100 jobs; trade transportation and utilities, which lost 29,100 jobs, and mining and construction, which shed 27,400 jobs.

Read more in tomorrow’s Times Free Press

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