published Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Tennessee jobless rate falls below U.S. average

  • photo
    A workman cuts into a fitting at JV Northwest in Camby, Ore. The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell to the lowest point in almost four years last week, the latest signal that the job market is steadily improving.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Unemployment fell below the national average in Tennessee for the first time in 14 months during January.

The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development said today that January’s jobless rate fell by three-tenths of a percent to 8.2 percent. The state’s jobless rate was below the U.S. rate of 8.3 percent in January, the first time since November 2010 that the job market was better in Tennessee than the U.S. as a whole.

“This month the numbers show an increase of 12,700 jobs so we are seeing positive growth in private industry,” Labor Commissioner Karla Davis said in a statement today. “The net gains are chipping away at the dramatic loss of jobs during the recession.”

The number of unemployed persons in Tennessee during January, 257,500, is the lowest since November 2008. The number of employed Tennesseans, nearly 2.9 million, was the highest in January since March 2008.

“Year-over-year the amount of goods production, specifically construction and durable goods manufacturing, was very strong,” University of Tennessee Economist Bill Fox said.

about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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