KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — At the beginning of the year it was announced we were headed for a recession. Now, some experts are saying there’s been a turnaround.
When you visit downtown Knoxville, you are met with busy shops and lots of people walking around. It’s just one piece of the important growth and development of jobs here and nationwide.
“We have a number of different industries, all sorts of industries here,” Matt Harris with the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research at UT said. “It’s one of the things that helps in times, if there’s going to be a coming recession is if you aren’t overly concentrated in one particular area. A lot of the industries in our state tend to do pretty well regardless of the prevailing business climate.”
Job growth in East Tennessee is much healthier than in some surrounding states. It is also staying steady.
“We are still on that trajectory where job growth is a couple of percentage points higher than it was pre-pandemic,” Harris said. “We look at that and don’t see a whole lot of red flags there. Not only that, we don’t see a whole lot of red flags nationally.”
The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce said they certainly are not seeing any of those red flags here.
“We are fortunate, we have very low unemployment, we have high business growth,” Doug Lawyer with the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce said. “There’s a lot of expansion opportunities and we’re seeing new companies located in the Knoxville region as evidenced recently with Malibu Boats coming to Lenoir City. Overall, things are just extremely strong from our perspective.”
With the varying types of businesses starting to call the Knoxville area home, different areas of the economy are impacted.
“Depending on the sector, there’s different impacts of a new business coming in,” Lawyer said. “A manufacturing company coming to town might bring more jobs and have more ripple effect in terms of indirect jobs than say an office-related project in town. They are all exciting and we welcome them all.”
While the chance for a recession this year has gone down, experts are reminding us it could still happen. Each recession has had a different match starting the fire like the 2007 housing bubble leading to the Great Recession in 2008.