By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
State unemployment rate drops to 7.7 percent
News may not be good for rural areas
unemployment logo w sm
Tennessee Commiss-ioner of Labor & Workforce Development Karla Davis announced last week that Tennessee’s unemployment rate for January was 7.7 percent, an increase of one-tenth of one percentage point from the December revised rate of 7.6 percent.The national unemployment rate for January was 7.9 percent, and also increased by one-tenth of one percent from the previous month.Tennessee’s January unemployment rate is the lowest January rate since 2008.Over the past year, Tennessee’s unemployment rate declined from 8.2 percent to 7.7 percent.The number of employed persons (2,891,100) is the highest since December 2007.Total nonfarm employment increased 7,600 jobs from December to January.Increases occurred in administrative/support/waste services, retail trade, and education/health services.Total nonfarm employment increased 56,200 jobs from January 2012 to January 2013.Increases occurred in professional/business services, trade/transportation/utilities, leisure/hospitality, and manufacturing.According to workforce development’s own five-year plan, however, the increase in business services jobs may not bode well for employment seekers in rural areas.The Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Integrated State Plan for July 1, 2012-June 30, 2017 reads:“Business services, and in particular, the temporary-help industry, has been one of Tennessee’s fastest growing sectors for several years. As employers continue to hire more workers through temporary-help agencies and also make use of “temporary to permanent” hiring options, business services will continue to expand. Business services is mostly concentrated in the urban areas.