“It’s always good to see Cleveland comparing favorably to our peer communities across the state. With Wacker nearing completion of its facilities, the recent VW announcement and the recent expansions we’ve seen in other local businesses. I expect Cleveland to continue its momentum in these categories,” Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Gary Farlow said.
The list looks at cities’ growth in the area of population, employment and income growth.
Douglas E. Berry, Chamber Economic Development vice president, said the list and uses data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey to make its comparisons.
The best growth category for Cleveland was median income growth. From 2009-2012, Cleveland’s median income increased 14.8 percent.
“We are very pleased to see our community had the second largest gain in median income growth (14.8 percent), second only to Kingsport at 16.2 percent. The only other cities that posted a double-digit growth rate were Mount Juliet (10.1 percent) and Jackson (10.7 percent),” Berry said.
“It is also good to see that we ranked 13th in the state in working age population growth with a 6.2 percent increase. Positive, yet modest, working age population growth helps us demonstrate to prospective companies that we will be able to provide a steady flow of qualified workers if they locate in Cleveland/Bradley County.”
Cleveland received an overall growth score of 56.5.
Data in the area of employment growth was not as favorable.
“The remaining data on overall employment growth of -7.8 percent between 2009-2012 simply reinforces the need to remain focused on developing the next generation of manufacturing and skilled-service industry employment opportunities and diversifying the economy so that we do not see major fluctuations due to an economy with excessive concentrations of jobs in one or two industry groups,” Berry said.
This local data comes on the backdrop of job and manufacturing growth in the state as a whole.
According to a 2014 University of Tennessee Center for Business and Economic Research report presented to the Tennessee Governor, non-farming jobs in Tennessee increased with more than 40,000 new jobs coming to the state. Manufacturing in Tennessee increased 2.2 percent. The study said short-term job growth is expected in this year.
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