Tennessee cities buck national trend of job gains

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee made up nearly half the nationwide total of cities that saw a rise in their unemployment rate in April.

According to U.S. Labor Department data, the unemployment rate dropped in 339 metro areas compared with the previous month, while it rose in 20 cities and remained unchanged in 13.

The Commercial Appeal in Memphis first reported that nine of 10 Tennessee metro areas saw an increase in the jobless rate, while one remained unchanged.

Steve Cochrane, a regional economist at Moody's Analytics, said the poor jobs showing in Tennessee and other southern states is partly due to the slowdown in automobile production since the tsunami in Japan.

The metro employment data isn't seasonally adjusted for such trends and as a result can be volatile from month to month.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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