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Unemployment rate goes down

Statewide unemployment is going down.

The unemployment rate for Tennessee decreased in August by 1.2%, according to the latest data released by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development on Thursday.

The statewide rate is now 8.5%.

The new rate is 7% lower than it was in April at the height of the unemployment spike due to COVID-19 business closures.

In comparison, the statewide unemployment rate one year ago in August 2019 was 3.4%, which is 5.1% lower than the current statistic.

In a year-to-year comparison of jobs, Tennessee has seen a significant loss of positions as a result of COVID-19’s effect on the economy.

There are currently 142,600 fewer jobs across the state when compared to statistics from August 2019. 

One of the state’s largest employment sectors, leisure/ hospitality, experienced the most job loss. The manufacturing and professional/ business services sectors had the next highest number of impacted workers.

Nationally, seasonally adjusted unemployment also decreased in August. 

At 8.4%, the United States unemployment rate fell 1.8% from the revised July rate of 10.2%. The August rate for the U.S. is 4.7% higher than it was one year ago.

Thousands of businesses across Tennessee are ready to help the state’s economy rebound by reemploying out of work individuals., Tennessee’s workforce development website, currently has 219,000 open positions for all job skill levels.

County-by-county unemployment figures will be released this Thursday by the state.