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Tennessee's jobless rate at 26-year high - 10.7%

Staff Report • Jun 18, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Tennessee's unemployment rate is now in double digits and at a 26-year high.According to Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development James Neeley the jobless rate for May was 10.7 percent, up 0.8 percentage point from the revised April rate of 9.9 percent. The May rate a year ago was 6.2 percent. The national unemployment rate for May 2009 was 9.4 percent, up from the April rate of 8.9 percent.“Tennessee’s unemployment rate is above 10 percent, and we are continuing to outpace the national unemployment rate,” reported Labor Commissioner James Neeley. “Our goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing and construction, only makes up about 16 percent of Tennessee’s economy. Those industries, however, have seen more than half of the total job losses in the past year.” The last time Tennessee’s unemployment rate was as high as the current rate was Nov. 1983.According to the business survey for April to May show 6,300 job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality; 3,900 in administrative, support and waste services; and 2,300 in local government. The major employment decreases occurred in durable goods manufacturing, down by 5,700; state government educational services declined by 1,800 jobs; professional, scientific and technical services lost 1,400; and mining and construction decreased by 1,400.Major changes in the May 2008 to May 2009 show increases in health care and social assistance, up by 8,200; local government increased 1,800; and telecommunications gained 800;manufacturing was down 46,100; trade transportation and utilities lost 29,100; and mining and construction decreased by 27,400.

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