State Unemployment Eases—A Little

While the state unemployment rate was 3.1 percent lower a year ago, last November did show a mild improvement over October—a seasonally-adjusted 10.3 percent, down from 10.5 percent. This prompted state Labor Commissioner James Neeley to say in a Dec. 17 press release, "As the year ends, we're seeing evidence the economy is bottoming out and beginning to show some modest employment growth, which is encouraging news." Here are some details about the Nov. 2009 state unemployment statistics:

The November rate of unemployment in Tennessee a year ago was 7.2 percent.

The national unemployment rate for November 2009 was 10 percent, down from the October rate of 10.2 percent.

Job gains in non-agricultural employment included 7,300 in retail trade; 1,800 in professional and business services; and 1,300 in health care and social assistance.

Major employment decreases occurred in durable goods manufacturing, down by 1,800; arts, entertainment and recreation, down by 1,300; and mining and construction, down by 1,000 jobs.

Year-over-year employment increases occurred in health care and social assistance, up by 7,500; federal government, up by 1,500—local government educational services gained 1,100.

Losses occurred in manufacturing, which decreased by 29,800 jobs; mining and construction, down 28,200 jobs; and trade, transportation and utilities, which declined by 23,300.

Source: Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development