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Tennessee employers add 24,600 jobs in October, despite unemployment rate increase

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development said that the statewide unemployment rate for October was 7.4%, an increase of 0.9%.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Employers added 24,600 jobs in Tennessee, according to officials with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Officials said that the jobs were added as businesses reopen from closing in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the new jobs were in the professional and business services sector, officials said. The hospitality and manufacturing sectors also experienced large increases in employment compared to last month.

Despite the new jobs, Tennessee's preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate grew to 7.4% in October 2020. It was an increase of 0.9% from September's rate of 6.5%.

Even though the number of jobs increased from September to October, Tennessee officials reported 108,800 fewer jobs in the state compared to the previous year. The hospitality, manufacturing and government sectors experienced the most losses, compared to last year.

Despite the higher unemployment rate in Tennessee, unemployment fell on a national scale. In the U.S., the unemployment rate was 6.9% in October compared to 7.9% in September.

State officials launched the Reemploy Tennessee initiative to help match job seekers with employers across the state. They also said that career specialists are available to help people find work.

Officials said that Tennessee's workforce development website, Jobs4TN.gov, has more than 240,000 open positions for people of any skill level.