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Knoxville – The unemployment rate in Tennessee dropped slightly in October, to 3.7 percent.

University of Tennessee economist Matt Murray said it shows the Tennessee economy is strong.

“The lowering of the unemployment rate is a very positive signal for the state-s economy,” Murray said. “We-ve anticipated the slowdown would take place, consistent with the pattern we-ve observed over the summer and fall, to where we are today.”

Murray said that almost 14,000 service sector jobs were added in October.

“We would expect to see services and trade do exceptionally well, both because of seasonal factors such as holiday spending propping up retail sales,” Murray said.

“But also, in the long term, those are two sectors of the state-s economy that are in many ways overshadowing the manufacturing base that used to be the historical foundation of the state-s economy,” Murray said.