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Tenn. jobless numbers drop from historic high – still above worst Great Recession level

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WMOT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  Tennessee’s unemployment rate fell in May, but still remains higher than any point in the Great Recession.

The State Department of Labor reported Thursday that the May unemployment rate stand at 11.3 percent. At the height of the 2009 recession, the jobless rate topped out at 10.9 percent.

The department initially pegged the April unemployment rate at 14.7 percent, but this week revised that figure upward to 15.5 percent. That’s the highest monthly jobless rate Tennessee has ever recorded.

More than 620,000 Tennesseans have been laid off or furloughed since the coronavirus pandemic began to impact the economy in March.

Last week more than 19,900 additional workers filed for initial unemployment benefits. It was the first time initial applications fell below 20,000 since early March.

Some 300,000 state residents continue to receive jobless benefits. This past week the State of Tennessee paid out well over $288 million in unemployment aid payments.

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