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Can Tennessee workers expect to see wages rise in 2018?


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Tennessee’s economy is now in its sixth year of steady growth, according to Secretary of State Tre Hargett.

In a report out this month, the Secretary of State’s Office notes a number of positive economic trends.

In the second quarter, tax revenue rose over the previous year by 3.2 percent and Tennesseans saw personal income grow by 3.5 percent. The rate at which new businesses were created jumped by nearly five percent statewide and unemployment stands at historic lows.

University of Tennessee Economist Bill Fox helps the state compile its quarterly Business and Economic Indicators Report. He says the signs all point to continued growth.

“Good creation of jobs, housing prices rising, the equity markets going up; all of this says consumers have more money to spend and as a result they’re leading continued recovery.”

Dr. Fox says federal regulators will need to keep a wary out for signs of inflation, but so far he sees no indication that’s on the horizon.

A positive note for the state’s workforce: Dr. Fox believes average wages will begin to rise in Tennessee soon, thanks to super-low unemployment. But Fox points out Tennessee businesses likely won’t be significantly impacted even if that happens.

“We’re a below average wage economy (in Tennessee). We’re still going to be below average wages, and so I can’t imagine it changing our relative position, our competitive position any, so I don’t think it’s bad news.”

Would you like to review the complete Tennessee Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators Report?