After averaging almost 4 percent over the previous three months, year-over-year job growth in the Middle Tennessee area slowed a bit in March to a still-very-respectable 2.8 percent. Three sectors are in the red versus early 2012 — including, somehow, construction — but big sectors such as business services and manufacturing are still going strong.
Even though millions of people have dropped out of the U.S. labor market and the pace of job growth is agonizingly irregular, the U.S. labor market is steadily healing as evidenced by the number of job openings. But Sudeep Reddy at the Journal points out that we have plenty of mending still to do.
PropertyManagementInsider.com offers an interesting look at Nashville's healthy jobs and apartments growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently pegged Nashville’s 2012 job growth at about 30,000 positions — a big increase from its previous estimate. This bodes well in terms of the city finding residents for all the new urban apartment projects. Read more here.
Speaking last week to the Nashville Risk Management Association, economist David Penn had a decently upbeat outlook for Nashville's economy in the coming year. Penn, director of the Business and Economic Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University, said manufacturing and professional services companies are driving the jobs train but that construction job growth is "sputtering" — despite a 60 percent jump in permits from a year ago. Overall job growth is expected to be in line with 2012's 1.7 percent. You can view and download Penn's full presentation here.
Most of Tennessee's industry sectors finished 2012 in better employment shape than the year before, according to statistics released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Middle Tennessee State University Business and Economic Research Center. But it's worth noting that the key finance, business services and government sectors didn't grow as quickly last year as in 2011. The one really bright spot: manufacturing.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is encouraging about 30,000 state residents who have been getting extended federal unemployment benefits to hop online and search for jobs around the state. Those benefits will expire Jan. 2, meaning the unemployed will go back to getting a maximum of 26 weeks of benefits coverage.
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.
Inc. magazine has rolled out its first ever Hire Power Awards lauding private companies adding oodles of jobs around the country. One Nashville-area company has made the top 100 and it's Brentwood-based specialty hospital operator Centerre Healthcare, which grew its payroll by 500 people from 2008 on its way to posting $56 million in revenues in 2011. Six of the 10 Tennessee laureates, including a well-known HVAC player and a popular local pub concept, are based in Middle Tennessee.