Today is Wednesday, August 23, 2017

State jobless rate climbs to 9.1 percent

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County unemployment numbers set for release 

Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley announced Thursday Tennessee’s unemployment rate for February was 9.1 percent, up 0.5 percentage point from the January rate of 8.6 percent.

The February rate a year ago was 5.5 percent. The national unemployment rate for February 2009 was 8.1 percent, up from the January rate of 7.6 percent.

"Data released today (Thursday) continue to highlight the severity of the deepening recession in Tennessee,” Neeley said. “The statewide unemployment rate remains on an upward trend, and the number of unemployed persons has climbed to the highest level since we began keeping these records in 1973.”

January-to-February job losses totaled 7,800. Declines included trade, transportation and utilities, down 4,900; manufacturing was down 3,200, and professional and business services lost 3,000 jobs. Job gains occurred in government (primarily state and local educational services), increasing by 5,600; private educational services, increased by 2,100; and transportation equipment added 1,300 jobs. 

The over the year comparison from February 2008 to February 2009 shows a net loss of 110,700 jobs. Manufacturing jobs are down by 39,200; trade, transportation and utilities have lost 28,600 jobs: and mining and construction are down by 20,900.  Health care and social assistance increased by 10,100 over the year; local government increased 3,800 and telecommunications increased by 1,000.

County unemployment figures are to be released in the next few days. The January unemployment rate for Wilson County was 7.8 percent.

Most recently, some 15 workers lost their jobs when Goody’s Family Clothing announced plans to liquidate in January. The store was located on South Cumberland Street in Lebanon in the Walmart shopping center.

Goody’s, based in Knoxville, had 287 stores and employed 9,800 people in 20 states at the end of 2008. The company closed more than 60 stores in October, calling them under-performing, as part of the firm’s plan coming out of Chapter 11. The company filed bankruptcy after experiencing problems with credit and merchandise. 

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