Tennessee adds 45,000 jobs in past year; jobless rate near historic lows

FILE - This April 22, 2014, file photo shows an employment application form on a table during a job fair at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, N.Y. On Thursday, June 8, 2017, the Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits a week earlier. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

Tennessee employers added 45,000 jobs across the state in the past year, lowering the state's seasonally-adjusted jobless rate from 4 percent a year ago to 3.4 percent last month.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday that unemployment in the Volunteer State during April was a half percentage point below the U.S. rate of 3.9 percent last month and, not adjusted for seasonal factors, was the lowest monthly rate for unemployment in Tennessee in modern history.

"With the economy being so far into the recovery as it is, it's getting increasingly difficult to have really high growth rates," said Bill Fox, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. "But we continue to see solid growth in our state, and labor force participation rates continue to improve as more workers come back into the labor market and employers continue to add to their staffs."

Fox