(Times Free Press) -- Seasonal layoffs in manufacturing and schools pushed unemployment higher last month in Tennessee and Georgia for the second consecutive month.

Tennessee's jobless rate rose by a tenth of a percent during July to 8.3 percent, while unemployment in Georgia climbed by three-tenths of a percent last month to 9.3 percent. Unemployment in both states was the highest since December and above the national jobless rate of 8.2 percent in July.

"The general picture is still one of a growing economy, albeit not much by historical standards," said Bill Fox, the chief economic forecaster at the University of Tennessee's Center for Business and Economic Research.

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