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APRIL 17, 2008
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Rate up 0.3 percent from February 2008 figure 

NASHVILLE Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley announced today Tennessee’s unemployment rate for March was 5.6 percent, up 0.3 percentage point from the February rate of 5.3.  In 2007 the March unemployment rate was 4.5 percent.  The national unemployment rate for March 2008 was 5.1 percent, up from the February national rate of 4.8 percent.

“The national rise in unemployment accompanied by slow job growth corresponds with Tennessee’s employment picture,” said Commissioner Neeley.  “Similar to the rest of the nation, we are experiencing a decline in jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector.”

February to March gains occurred in leisure and hospitality employment increasing by 6,600; trade, transportation and utilities employment increased 4,400; and jobs in construction, natural resources and mining increased 2,500. Month-to-month declines included information employment, down 200.  Employment in plastic and rubber products manufacturing lost 200 jobs.

From March 2007 to March 2008, increases led with gains of 8,400 jobs in educational and health services.  Leisure and hospitality employment increased by 2,800; and government jobs were up 2,000. Manufacturing jobs were down from a year ago with employment decreasing by 13,500; financial activities employment lost 1,200 jobs.

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