The loss of 9,000 government jobs last month kept Tennessee's unemployment rate above the U.S. average during July.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported today that the seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in the state was unchanged at 9.8 percent in July. Nationwide, the U.S. jobless rate dipped by one-tenth of a percent last month to 9.1 percent.
"The statistics behind the unchanged unemployment rate show a slight drop in employment numbers along with an overall decline in the labor force," state Labor Commissioner Karla Davis said.
According to the monthly household survey, the number of employed Tennesseans decreased by 12,200 from June 2010 to July 2011. Tennessee's civilian labor force decreased by 15,100 over the past year due to the rise in discouraged workers no longer looking for jobs, Davis said.
Over the past year, however, the business surveys conducted each month showed that the state's private employment grew by 1.3 percent from July 2010 to July 2011.
But cutbacks in state, local and school system budgets with the start of the new fiscal year on July 1 also helped reduce overall government employment.
"Construction and durable goods manufacturing are both showing strong short and long term growth which is better than we've seen during the past few years," Davis said.