TN unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent in December (still above national average)

News release from Department of Labor and Workforce Development:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced today Tennessee’s unemployment rate for December is 7.8 percent, which is three tenths of one percentage point lower than the November revised rate. The national unemployment rate for December 2013 was 6.7 percent, down three tenths of one percentage point from November.

Economic Summary:

• Over the past two months, Tennessee’s unemployment rate decreased from 8.5% to 7.8%.

• The labor force is the lowest since March 2010, influenced by unemployment being the lowest since Oct. 2008.

• Total nonfarm employment decreased 900 jobs from November to December. The largest decreases occurred in leisure/hospitality, health care/social assistance, and government.

• Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 31,400 jobs. The largest increases occurred in leisure/hospitality, retail trade, and durable goods manufacturing.

Note: A table of statistics, including county-by-county rates, is available HERE.