Job growth slows but unemployment still below U.S. average in Tennessee, Georgia

Two states add 170,000 jobs in past 12 months

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)

Despite a year-end dip in the number of workers on the job, unemployment in Tennessee and Georgia remained below the U.S. average in December after employers in the two states added more than 170,000 jobs during all of 2018.

The Tennessee jobless rate held steady at 3.6 percent last month while Georgia's rate edge up a tenth of a percentage point to 3.6 percent. Employment rose last year to record highs in both states and their December rate was below the U.S. jobless rate of 3.7 percent in December.

Jobless in December

› 3.6 percent in Tennessee, unchanged from November› 3.6 percent in Georgia, up 0.1 percent from November› 3.7 percent nationwide, up 0.5 percent from NovemberSources: Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Georgia Department of Labor

Even with the decline in jobs during the last month of 2018, year-to-year statistics showed Tennessee employers created 59,100 new positions across the state.