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Tennessee's 'lost decade' of jobs over; future looking bright

Dave Flessner • Feb 10, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Tennessee jobs slowly are returning after a lost decade in the Volunteer State, according to a new economic forecast this week.

After Tennessee shed nearly 20,000 jobs from 1999 through 2009, the state's top economic forecaster predicts it will add nearly a quarter of a million jobs over the next decade.

Outside of Chattanooga and a few other cities, however, manufacturing employment is likely to continue to shrink and job growth will be less than half the pace of most of the past half century.

"While economic conditions are showing marginal improvement, the Tennessee economy is stuck in a deep hole," University of Tennessee economist Matt Murray said in the annual economic report to the governor by the Center for Business and Economic Research. "Unemployment is a lagging indicator, so even though the recession is over we expect the statewide unemployment rate to stay in the double digits through next year."

Read the full report at the Chattanooga Times Free-Press Web site.

PDF report to the governor.

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