Tennessee’s unemployment dropped slightly in April, marking the ninth straight month of decreases in the state’s unemployment rate.
The 7.8% unemployment rate is down from 7.9% in March and the lowest it’s been since November 2008.
Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Karla Davis said in a release that the decrease in the jobless rate is largely caused by fewer people seeking work.
The national unemployment rate was 8.1% in April, also 0.1% age point lower than the previous month.
State manufacturing jobs saw the biggest increase compared with last month, at a growth rate of 1.8%. Next were jobs in trade, transportation and utilities at 1.6% and positions in the leisure and hospitality sector at 1.5%.
Many Tennesseans have reported problems with their unemployment benefits and not receiving their checks, but the culprit might actually be something they aren’t doing.
Due to new rules taking effect, thousands of people who receive unemployment benefits must visit community career centers. The problem is, however, many people aren’t doing it.
Thousands of people on federal unemployment are supposed to show up to a career center to regularly meet with caseworkers, but many people aren’t doing that. So their benefits are getting cut off.
Starting in September, those on state benefits will have to follow more new rules as well by documenting at least three job searches.
The state is working to make that easier for people through the new Jobs4TN website (https://www.jobs4tn.gov).