Area job growth stays tepid

Middle Tennessee's workforce grew by 0.5 percent in November from a year ago, according to federal numbers curated by the Business and Economic Research Center at MTSU. Last month featured the seventh straight drop of at least 2 percent in government employment and the fourth straight in which financial-company employment was off at least 2 percent from a year ago. On the plus side, both manufacturing and professional services job growth stayed solid, and retailers were employing almost 5 percent more people than in late 2011. We'll have to see if that last stat has legs or was primarily the result of hiring pulled forward from December.