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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As COVID-19 restrictions loosen, it’s difficult to tell if the economy is catching back up. Unemployment numbers around the state are still on the rise. Marianne Wanamaker, a professor of economics at the University of Tennessee, shares more on how the economy is doing.

Wanamaker says that right now the labor market is in the worst shape. According to her, the United States is around 6 and a half million jobs short of where the marker was in February of 2020. She also spoke on how Tennesseans will be impacted by the Federal Unemployment benefits ending in the state. According to her, about two-thirds of Tenessessans on unemployment are fully on Federal relief and will lose all of their unemployment, while one-third will only have $500 supplement reduced.

According to the Tennessee Labor Department, the number of people filing for unemployment in the state rose by more than 15,000 last week. Nearly 65,000 Tennesseans filed new jobless claims last week. In the week before, there were just under 5,000 new unemployment claims. The data shows that more than 48,000 Tennesseans still haven’t found a job, however, that is 12,000 fewer than the week before.