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JUNE 19, 2008
(615) 741-2257

Rate up one percent from April

NASHVILLE Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley announced today Tennessee’s unemployment rate for May was 6.4 percent, up one percentage point from the April revised rate of 5.4.  In 2007 the April unemployment rate was 4.7 percent.  The national unemployment rate for May 2008 was 5.5 percent, up from the April national rate of 5.0 percent.

“The Tennessee unemployment picture is parallel to what’s happening across the nation by increasing significantly from April,” said Commissioner James Neeley.  “I don't believe this is cause for concern; the monthly data is a preliminary estimate of what is happening in the labor market.  Similar to the national data, the household survey has indicated the large increase while other major inputs, like the business survey and unemployment insurance claims did not change as significantly.”

April to May gains occurred in leisure and hospitality employment, increasing by 3,600; jobs in construction, natural resources and mining increased 1,900; and administrative, support, and waste services increased 1,900. Month-to-month declines included professional, scientific and technical services, down 2,700.  State government educational services lost 1,700 jobs, and durable goods manufacturing was down 1,300 jobs.

From May 2007, educational and health services gained 7,900 jobs.  Local government educational services employment increased by 1,900; and accommodation and food service jobs were up 1,600.  Manufacturing jobs were down from a year ago with employment decreasing by 8,500; financial activities employment lost 2,400 jobs and administrative, support and waste services employment was down 2,100 jobs.

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