9:40am

Fri January 24, 2014
Business

Tennessee Jobless Rate Drops in December, Numbers Deceiving

Credit state.tn.us/labor-wfd

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Tennessee’s employment numbers for December are out and they show a significant drop from the November jobless rate.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development says unemployment in December was down to 7.8 percent, that’s three-tenths of a percent lower than the November rate.

But Department spokesman Jeff Hentschel says the decrease did not result from more jobs being created.

“Overall that’s good news to see that number drop, but we largely saw some people who were looking for work become discouraged and leave the workforce, so that artificially drives that number down.”

The jobless rate reflects the number of people actively looking for work, not the number of people unemployed.  Tennessee actually shed about 900 jobs in December.

Even after the December drop, Tennessee’s jobless rate still stands well above the national rate, which fell to 6.7 percent in December.