The Internal Revenue Service is looking to add 55 people to its tax return processing staff on International Drive in Cool Springs. The full-time seasonal positions are expected to be for six months starting in mid-December but could be extended. The salaries will range from about $32,000 to more than $41,000.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics this week published its regular report on job and wage growth in the nation's counties, this time for the fourth quarter of 2014. The report makes for fun reading for some in the local economic development community: Williamson County's 6.1 percent job growth rate last year ranks fifth nationally in the BLS' large-county category while the 4.9 percent increase in average wages put the county in the top 50. Similarly, Rutherford County's job growth of 3.9 percent easily outpaced the nation's 2.2 percent pace.
Davidson County's strong growth of 3.6 percent, however, is made a good bit more sobering when put alongside its wage numbers, which clocked in at just 1.5 percent. That put the heart of Middle Tennessee and the home of more than half its jobs all the way in 306th out of 340 counties. With the mayoral race heating up, we're thinking the topic of wages and bringing quality jobs to Davidson County will quickly move up the agenda from here.
You can peruse the full BLS report at this link.
Littleton was later asked about Tennessee increasing its minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour.
“I think it will eventually happen. I think we need to do it gradually,” Littleton said. “Maybe even this next session.”
Sen. Kerry Roberts, also a Republican, didn't exactly say he was against the increase himself, but said it would have tough sledding in the Senate:
“The House and Senate truly do operate very differently from each other. The bodies truly do have their own personalities,” Roberts said. “I don’t think it would pass the Senate. I don’t see the support in the Senate. It might move forward in the House.”
Here's an interesting stat from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
In its most recent release involving unemployment, the department lists the number of people for "available labor" — that is, discouraged workers, unemployed workers and the partially unemployed.
In only 13 of the state's 95 counties are there more available female workers than male. For employment in general, women (at least those who want a full-time job) seemingly are faring better than men in Tennessee.
Now as to wage equality related to gender...
So we can't point to the harsh winter weather anymore, right?
Year-over-year job growth in the Nashville MSA clocked in at 2.7 percent in April, in line with the previous two months. As far as we can tell, it's the first time in more than three years that Music City has put up three straight months of sub-3 percent growth. Smaller gains in construction didn't help, but that sector employs less than 40,000 of the region's almost 900,000 workers so it can't really have a big impact. Of bigger import has been the dropoff in growth in the business services and hospitality sectors, which combine to employ more than 240,000 people. On the plus side, manufacturing, retail and education/health are holding their own.
Executives at Amazon.com say they plan to hire 6,000 people nationally in the coming weeks for their network of sorting and distribution centers. Among the sites getting new full-time positions are Murfreesboro. If Amazon is hiring roughly the same number of people at each of the 19 centers slated to grow, the company's Rutherford County outpost will get another 315 jobs.
The Nashville Technology Council and CareerBuilder have released their latest report on the state of Nashville's technology jobs market. The short version: Employment rose by 2,200 people and the number of openings grew 9 percent to more than 1,500. But closing the gap between the region's supply and demand — one of the NTC team's biggest priorities — remains a big challenge because the region isn't yet producing enough degreed or certified tech professionals.
Check out the full report here. It also features comparisons to cities around the Southeast and shows that Nashville-area employers tend to pay a little less than their peers elsewhere in the region.
So... This set of numbers showing Nashville job growth staying well under 3 percent for the second straight month was probably due to the weather, right? For the sake of It City, let's hope the late-winter snows are to blame. It's likely the weather is the cause of the construction sector's drop into single-digit growth for the first time since October. But a number of other sectors also were well off the pace they had set early this year. Come next month, they'll have to pick up the pace.
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