Unemployment in Tennessee fell in January to the lowest rate in nearly five and a half years.
The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development said today that 7.2 percent of Tennessee's workforce was out of work in January, down from 7.7 percent in December. But the state's jobless rate at the start of 2014 remained above the U.S. rate of 6.6 percent even though Tennessee had a bigger drop in unemployment over the past year than the nationwide average.
Over the past year, joblessness declined in Tenenssee from 8.1 percent at the start of 2013 to 7.2 percent at the start of 2014.
Most of the monthly decline in January came from the seasonal drop in the size of the workforce. The number of Tennesseans out of work and looking for jobs in January, 218,900, was the fewest number since September 2008 and 15,900 fewer than the previous month.
But employment also dipped from December to January by 2,100 jobs, primarily due to seasonal declines in manufacturing, retail trade and government jobs.
Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 37,800 jobs.