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KNOXVILLE – Tennessee-s unemployment rate dropped slightly to 4.2 percent in January, down a percentage point from December.

University of Tennessee economist Matt Murray said it points to continued strength for the state economy.

“I think it’s a positive reflection of how the Tennessee economy is performing,” Murray said. “The economy has dealt with some difficulties, particularly in the state-s manufacturing sector, where we-ve been losing jobs.”

“By and large, other sectors of the state economy have been creating jobs,” Murray said, “so the jobless rate moving down is a favorable indication that the overall state economy is healthy.”

Out of a pool of 2.8 million workers in Tennessee, 2.7 million of them had jobs in January.

Murray said over the past year, Tennessee has seen job losses in manufacturing, finance, insurance and real estate. Services, trade, government, transportation, utilities and construction have seen job growth in that time period.