Unemployment rose to 8.6 percent in Tennessee for the month of January. That’s a whole percentage point worse than December and three points higher than the same month last year.
Tom Milam works at the state’s career center in Nashville. He says it’s getting harder to keep job seekers motivated.
“We try to give them just a sliver of hope, just to let them know that there is something out there with their name on it. They’ve just got to work a little bit harder to find it.”
The state lost 21,000 jobs in trade, transportation and utilities. The next largest loss was in administrative and waste services – some 15,000 jobs. Leisure and hospitality contracted by 10,000 positions.
Tennessee’s unemployment rate is now a full point higher than the country as a whole.