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Tennessee outpaces the U.S. in pandemic job recovery

According to ThinkWhy's LaborIQ, Tennessee is outpacing the rest of the country in terms of current job recovery and total business growth. 

The company reports, forecasts, and advises on employment conditions and the impact on jobs, industries, and businesses across all U.S. cities. New data shows some of Tennessee’s biggest metros, including Nashville jobs, will recover a full year ahead of the entire country. 

Nashville's jobless rate remains at 2.6 percent, with 28,100 jobs to be recovered. Although it shed 147,100 jobs, it has already experienced tremendous job growth. Nashville's economy will fully recover in 2022, with the majority of industries rebounding in 2021. In 2022, Educational Services jobs and Manufacturing are expected to recover. 

Nashville has one of the strongest rates of population gain when we look out the next five years, so that’s going to fuel jobs added to the market and overall, a good economy,” said Jay Denton, Chief Analyst of LaborIQ. “The good news for Nashville is we already see by the end of next year; most industries will fully recover.” 

 “If anyone goes outside, especially outside, they can see the vibrancy of the construction industry; also financial activity, banks, investment firms, and real estate falls in that as well. Those have recovered all jobs, which is impressive given how devastating the pandemic was.” 

Tennessee was almost 65,000 jobs short of full recovery at the time of our last review, with nearly 44,000 of those jobs in hospitality and leisure, an industry that is unlikely to recover until 2025. 

 “Eventually, we should start to add some of those jobs back. We had a great month of job growth in July, almost a million added (nationwide), almost a million added in June, so we are gaining a lot of traction,” Denton said. 

Though business owners are eager to capture market demand, they can’t seem to hire employees quickly enough.  

The challenge today is there are more than 10 million jobs in the United States, and we can’t seem to find the workers. We’re not sure where they all went,” Denton said, adding this trend should change over the next few months as additional unemployment benefits run out. 

What about the Delta variant, though? Will it have an impact on our schedule for recovery? Denton believes it won't significantly impact, though he accepts that travel and hospitality will undoubtedly take a hit. 

 “I still think there are enough opportunities out there that even if there was a slowdown with the Delta variant, that by the end of next year, we still would have recaptured all of the jobs,” Denton said. 

Source: WKRN News 2 

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