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Tennessee jobless rate jumps to 6.4 percent

Tennessee jobless rate jumps to 6.4 percent

Posted: Monday, June 30, 2008 12:02 pm
By: The Associated Press

The Messenger 06.30.08

NASHVILLE (AP) — The number of unemployed people in Tennessee jumped by 30,800 in May, a 19 percent increase over the previous month, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development said.
The state’s unemployment rate jumped from 5.5 percent in April to 6.4 percent in May, nearly a full percentage point above the national rate.
Gov. Phil Bredesen said the unemployment figures underline the importance of his plan to buy out around 2,300 state workers as the state prepares for more difficult economic times ahead.
The voluntary buyout program is designed to eliminate 5 percent of the state’s 47,000 jobs and was part of a nearly half-billion dollar package of cuts Bredesen had to make during the recently completed legislative session to balance the state’s books.
“My concern was that we’d see more unfortunate news — more unhappy news — before we saw things turning to the good again,” Bredesen said. “And certainly based on this month that’s proven to be true.”
There were almost 196,000 unemployed people in Tennessee in May, compared with 165,100 a month earlier.
The state had 8,500 fewer manufacturing jobs in May.

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