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Knoxville — The August unemployment rate in Tennessee held steady from July at 3.6 percent.

University of Tennessee economist Dr. Bill Fox said the flat rate was a good sign.

“As has been true over the last several years, Tennessee’s jobless rate is lower than the national average,” Fox said. “This suggests that our economy, even on the standards of the very strong national economy, is just excellent.”

The national jobless rate for August was 4.1 percent.

Fox said the low numbers of jobless persons might possibly retard business expansion in Tennessee.

But Fox said he expects flat growth in unemployment to continue.

“We don’t see any signs that the unemployment rate will go back up,” Fox said. “It’s been staying in the range of 3.5 percent to 4 percent for more than a year now, and we think the rate will remain in that general range.”