Tennessee's unemployment rate rose to 6.9 percent in July, up from 6.5 percent the month before and just 4.6 percent a year ago. July’s jobless number was the state’s highest since May 1987.
The national jobless rate last month was 5.7 percent, up from 5.5 percent in June.
Seasonal job losses influenced Tennessee's July numbers, with local and state governments cutting more than 5,000 education jobs. The factory sector also cut 3,600 positions last month.
Over the past 12 months, Tennessee manufacturers have cut more than 9,000 jobs, while the professional/business services and financial sectors have shedded 5,100 and 3,400 positions, respectively. The leisure and hospitality industry has cut 2,800 jobs.
Those cuts have easily outweighed the growth in educational and health employers (6,500 jobs) as well as small gains in the government and trade sectors.