The state announced earlier this week that tax revenues were still down. Yesterday, the news didn’t get much better as employment figures were released.
Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley said the state’s unemployment rate for June was 6.5 percent, up 0.1 percentage point from the May revised rate of 6.4. In 2007, the June unemployment rate was 4.6 percent. The national unemployment rate for June 2008 was 5.5 percent, the same as the May national rate.
"Tennessee is experiencing job losses in many industries, much like the rest of the nation," said Commissioner James Neeley. "The service sector, where we've typically seen some employment growth, is down from last year. This is indicative of consumers tightening their belts and reducing spending."
From June 2007, the educational and health services sector gained 7,700 jobs. Local government educational services employment increased by 2,900 and employment in general merchandise stores was up 1,200. The manufacturing sector shed 8,600 jobs, while professional and business services firms cut 5,100 jobs and leisure and hospitality companies cut 3,600 jobs.
From May to June, the state had gains in leisure and hospitality employment, increasing by 3,400; jobs in construction, natural resources and mining increased 2,000; and health care and social assistance employment increased by 1,600 jobs.
Month-to-month declines reflect school closures for summer vacation, with local government educational services down 16,000, state government educational services down 2,200 jobs and private educational services down 1,800 jobs.