What is this?
We use the total number of non-farm employees, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to represent the number of jobs in the Memphis metro area.
Why does it matter?
Residents depend on employment opportunities to support themselves and their families and build a life in Memphis.
Who is responsible?
Job growth is driven by the private sector. Other parties that play a role include the City of Memphis, Shelby County, Shelby County Schools, EDGE, WIN and multiple other governmental and non-governmental agencies that support business and job growth.
How do we measure performance?
We look at whether the Memphis region is adding jobs, and how quickly.
Memphis is adding jobs, which improves regional employment opportunities for those living in the city and surrounding areas. However, the number of jobs in the local economy has not yet reached its pre-recession peak from 2007. Assuming that jobs grow at the current rate of one percent per year, we will surpass 2007's job number in four more years.
Jobs are not added steadily. At different times of year, jobs are added to the economy and then other times of year, we see a significant job loss. For example, the holiday shopping season drives a surge in part-time and full-time retail hiring, but most of those jobs are temporary and eliminated after the holiday rush. The goal is for the overall year-to-year trend to be positive, despite seasonal fluctuations.
The City of Memphis engages in coordinated economic development with Shelby County through EDGE, the Economic Development Growth Engine. EDGE delivers programs that bring new businesses and jobs to Memphis. Additionally, EDGE provides small business and neighborhood business growth support.
For minority and women-owned businesses, the City of Memphis offers MORE, the Memphis Office of Resource and Enterprise. MORE serves as a central point of contact for those businesses to learn how to grow, discover what business opportunities are available in the market, and find other organizations in the area that can help their specific business develop and find talent.
To grow jobs, there must be willing and able job candidates available in the region. As the largest stakeholder in the Shelby County School System and a participant in Tennessee's Drive to 55 Alliance, the City of Memphis aims to increase the supply of qualified talent and makes Memphis a desireable place to grow a business.
Memphis businesses interested in growing and adding jobs can look to a number of resources to help them grow smartly and sustainably, while hiring and compensating employees in an equitable fashion.
In addition to what the City of Memphis offers, multiple other agencies offer business and job growth help. The Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce offers business growth and workforce-related services to large and small businesses. Entrepreneurs can reach out to the EPICenter, a central point of contact for the region's entrepreneurial support offerings. Additionally, the Workforce Investment Network (WIN), a government-funded agency, provides recruitment support services to companies that want to add jobs or bring jobs to Memphis.