Dubious Distinction: Tennessee is #12

A New York Times article this week noted that the economic slump has hit the South particularly hard, with the region accounting for six of the 11 states with the highest unemployment rates. The good news is that Tennessee isn't one of them—those are the Carolinas, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama (which is tied with Illinois for 10th, at 9.9 percent). The bad news is that if you stretch that list to 12, we're on it. Tennessee's August jobless rate of 9.7 percent is higher than the national rate of 9.1 percent, and higher than the 9.4 percent we registered a year ago.