UT report: Sluggish job creation slows recovery

Tennessee’s economy is “marginally healthier” than the national economy, but sluggish job growth continues to be a drag on the state and national economies, according to a report released today by the University of Tennessee’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

Nonfarm employment in Tennessee is expected to rise 1.7 percent this year, compared to 1.5 percent growth for the nation, the report says.

Tennessee’s unemployment rate is expected to average 7.8 percent for 2012 and drop to 7. 4 percent next year. The national unemployment rate is expected to average 8.1 percent this year and fall to 7.8 percent in 2013, according CBER’s spring 2012 Tennessee Business and Economic Outlook.

While job creation remains slow the economy is showing moderate improvement,

“Despite slower-than-desired growth, the economy is on much firmer footing today than it was a year ago,” said Matt Murray, associate director of CBER and the report’s author.

Among the bright spots for the Tennessee economy:
Personal income is expected to increase 4.2 percent this year and 4.8 percent in 2013.

Taxable sales are expected to jump 7.9 percent in 2012 but cool off to 4.7 percent growth next year.

Auto sales have been particularly strong with 10.1 percent growth in 2011 and starting this year with 16.6 percent seasonally adjusted growth.

“Most measures of state growth will show further improvement in 2013, assuming the nation’s path of economic growth is not derailed,” Murray said.

Click here to read the full CBER report.