December Unemployment Rate 7.9 Percent

Thursday, January 22, 2009 | 02:20 pm

Rate Up 0.9 Percentage Point from November

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley announced today Tennessee’s unemployment rate for December was 7.9 percent, up 0.9 percentage point from the November rate of 7.0 percent. The December rate a year ago was 5.0. The national unemployment rate for December 2008 was 7.2 percent, up from the November rate of 6.8.
 
“December is a month that normally has increased employment because of the holidays. In 2008, however, we saw a 15,400 job loss from November to December when we would have expected a gain,” said Commissioner Neeley. “While losses in manufacturing have not been unusual for the past 10 years, we are now seeing the effect of the poor economy across most major Tennessee industries.” Year-to-year figures showed construction declining 5,600 jobs and the service providing sector down 38,800 jobs.
 
November-to-December job gains occurred in sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores, increasing by 1,300; health care and social assistance added 1,200 jobs; general merchandise stores increased by 1,100; and professional, scientific, and technical services increased by 1,100. Declines included mining and construction, losing 5,000 jobs; administrative, support and waste services lost 4,600; and manufacturing decreased by 4,000.
 
From December 2007 to December 2008, educational and health services added 6,300 jobs; local government employment increased by 1,500; management of companies and enterprises increased by 500; and telecommunications added 500 jobs. Decreases were in manufacturing, down by 20,100; trade, transportation and utilities lost 17,300; and professional and business services lost 15,000 jobs.
  
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