Friday, January 20, 2012

BERC in the News

    Tennessee Jobless Rate Hits 3-Year Low in December
    Tennessean (Jan. 20, 2012)

    Construction and manufacturing, two sectors that profusely bled jobs during the recession, now are leading the healing of Tennessee's labor market. "The strength in those sectors now is pretty surprising," said David Penn, a Middle Tennessee State University economist and director of its Business and Economic Research Center. An uptick in multifamily housing projects and commercial ventures, such as Nashville's Music City Center, probably is behind the recent growth in construction jobs, he said. Automotive-related industries, led by Volkswagen's new Chattanooga plant, are leading the job gains in manufacturing, Penn said.

    Industry Snapshot: The Highs and Lows of Theme Parks
    Nashville Business Journal (Jan. 19, 2012)

    "Industries that depend on entertainment dollars do well when the economy's growing," said David Penn, director of the Business and Economic Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University. "There will be ups-and-downs in the future." Penn said geography is also a strength, and that the park's overall economic impact will depend on its ability to draw new people or keep people from leaving for attractions elsewhere.

    Nashville Rises in Brookings' Economic Rankings
    Tennessean (Jan. 19, 2012)

    MTSU economist David Penn: "I've been impressed with the drops in the unemployment rate in Nashville. It's less than 8 percent now, and that's because we're generating jobs, not because people have stopped looking for work. The question is, can it be sustained? I think it's likely, but there are risks ahead."