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Associated Press File Photo / Volkswagen workers inspect vehicles at its Chattanooga manufacturing plant.

Tennessee employers are seeking to fill nearly three times as many open jobs as the number of Tennesseans that were unemployed this summer, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

State career centers, which are conducting a series of job fairs over the next five days as part of the Keep TN Working Week, listed 439,124 jobs on Monday on the state's employment website Jobs4TN.gov. The number of available jobs employers in Tennessee are trying to fill is more than 2.8 times greater than the 156,571 persons counted as unemployed in Tennessee in the latest jobs report for July.

To help connect unemployed persons with open jobs, Tennessee is highlighting its employment opportunities at more than 50 job fairs across Tennessee during September in conjunction with National Workforce Development Month. Tennessee's state labor agency has declared this "Keep TN Working Week" and scheduled nearly two dozen job fairs across the Volunteer State Monday through Friday.

"These events will help to connect Tennesseans with the skills and opportunities necessary to secure meaningful employment," said Chris Cannon, assistant administrator for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

'This week, seven employers will participate in job fairs and they will conduct interviews and collect applications across Tennessee," Cannon said.

The local job fair is scheduled Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chattanooga American Job Center at the Eastgate Town Center at 5600 Brainerd Road and will include three staffing agencies — Randstad Staffing. Luttrell Staffing and Spotlight Staffing.

Each of these staffing agencies is hiring for Volkswagen, Cannon said.

Overall, employers in metro Chattanooga have restored all of the nearly 39,000 jobs that were shed in the spring of 2020 when the coronavirus first shut down many businesses and stores. But July's employment total in metro Chattanooga was till more than 2,500 jobs below the employment level in July 2019.

The jobless rate in the 6-county Chattanooga metropolitan area fell to 3.9% in July, down from 5.3% the previous month. The local jobless rate remained 1.8 percentage points below the comparable 5.7% non-seasonally adjusted U.S. jobless rate last month.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6340.

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