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Tennessee's unemployment rate hits 25-year high

Staff Report • May 21, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Tennessee's April unemployment rate was 9.9 percent, up 0.3 percent from March. According to Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley that's the highest it's been in 25 years. “Tennessee still has more manufacturing than the national average as well as wholesale and retail distribution. This environment, along with the reduction in goods consumption, has had a big impact on Tennessee’s economy.”The unemployment rate last April was 6.0 percent. The national unemployment rate for April 2009 was 8.9 percent, up from the March rate of 8.5 percent.Neeley said that the state's Business Survey shows 6,300 job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality; 1,100 in nondurable goods manufacturing; and 1,100 in retail trade. The big job losses came in professional and business services, down by 1,800; educational and health services declined by 1,500 jobs; and wholesale trade decreased by 1,500.Year-over-year increases occurred in health care and social assistance, up by 9,400; local government increased 1,700; and food services and drinking places gained 1,300; manufacturing was down 40,500; trade transportation and utilities lost 28,900; and mining and construction decreased by 25,400.

April's employment data for county and cities with 25,000 and above population is scheduled for release late next week.

CLICK HERE for links to last month's city and county job charts and the highlights of the first quarter adjusted unemployment report.

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