State's jobless rate climbs to 9.8 percent

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

NASHVILLE -- Tennessee's unemployment rate in June increased to 9.8 percent, up 0.1 percent from the May figure.

State Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Karla Davis made the announcement on Thursday, noting that the national unemployment rate for June 2011 was 9.2 percent, up from the May revised rate of 9.1 percent.

"The decline in employment combined with a slight expansion in the labor force explains the higher unemployment rate," Davis said. "This is the third month in a row in which the unemployment rate has slightly increased."

The number of employed Tennesseans decreased by 3,200 from May to June this year, according to a household survey conducted by the state Labor and Workforce Development Department. The civilian labor force increased by 1,800, and, at 3,143,900, is the highest on record.

"The increase in employment levels over the last 12 months is still positive with more than 74 thousand jobs gained," Davis said. "This growth rate of 2.7 percent is much higher than the national employment picture which only grew 0.2 percent from June 2010 to June 2011."

Unemployment rates rose in more than half of U.S. states in June, evidence that slower hiring is affecting many parts of the country.

The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates in 28 states and Washington, D.C., increased last month. Rates declined in eight states and were flat in 14. That's a change from May, when 24 states reported falling unemployment rates.

Twenty-six states reported a net gain in jobs in June, while 24 states lost jobs.