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Knoxville – Tennessee’s March unemployment rate of 4.1 percent was unchanged from February.

A University of Tennessee economist said Tuesday the state is doing slightly better than the nation.

“We’re doing well in Tennessee, relative to the nation,” said Dr. Matt Murray, “and while a slowdown has certainly gripped Tennessee, it looks like the economy is stabilized.”

The national unemployment rate for March was 4.3 percent.

Murray said the steady jobless rate means there’s not as much upward pressure on wages.

“When labor markets get tight, generally, wages go up and employers must offer ever-better compensation packages to attract workers,” Murray said. “We have not seen that during this latest economic expansion, which dates back to the early 1990s, and it may not happen now.”

Tennessee’s jobless rate in March 2000 was 3.7 percent, while the national average was 4.0 percent.