Tennessee is Top State in US for Advanced Industry Job Growth, Brookings Institution Report Finds

Friday, August 05, 2016 | 10:39am

Tennessee’s advanced industry jobs grew 4.6% annually from 2013 to 2015

NASHVILLE – Tennessee ranks No. 1 among U.S. states for advanced industry job growth since 2013, the Brookings Institution found in a newly released report.

From 2013 to 2015, Tennessee’s advanced industry jobs increased by an average of 4.6 percent annually, according to Brookings, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. With the highest percentage growth rate among U.S. states, Tennessee outpaced the national average of 2.46 percent annual advanced industry job growth. 

“Our goal has been to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs, and this recognition by Brookings shows we’re making tremendous progress by adding highly-skilled jobs faster than any other state in the country,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said. “Thanks in part to our investments in education with the Drive to 55 and programs like Tennessee Promise, more and more companies find Tennessee to be the ideal place to do business. These types of jobs support innovative and sustainable growth and will serve as a significant boost for the long term health of Tennessee’s economy and our residents.”  

“There has never been a better time to be a Tennessean,” TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd said. “TNECD is coming off back-to-back years of record job commitments from our corporate partners. Most importantly, this Brookings report indicates that our state is getting higher paying jobs that will have a meaningful impact on Tennessee residents, with big gains among engineering, computer science and automotive-related jobs since 2013. Attaining the highest advanced industry job growth in the nation is a team win and the result of hard work by everyone on Team Tennessee.”

According to Brookings, advanced industries employ 249,617 full-time workers in Tennessee, or 8.3 percent of all jobs in the Volunteer State. These direct jobs support an additional 199,690 indirect jobs in other industries across the state.

In total, advanced industries in Tennessee produced $39.7 billion in output last year, accounting for 14.3 percent of the state’s economic output, according to Brookings.

Tennessee’s annual advanced industry job growth outpaced Georgia, which came in at No. 2 on Brookings’ report with 4.4 percent average annual job growth. Michigan, Florida and North Carolina rounded out Brookings’ top five states. According to Brookings, advanced industry jobs in Tennessee pay $70,784 on average per year, considerably higher than the average salary for all industries statewide last year of $45,696. 

Brookings also found that the Nashville metropolitan region ranked No. 1 among the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S. for advanced industry job growth from 2013 to 2015. Nashville’s average annual job growth among advanced industries was 7.9 percent.

Brookings defines advanced industry companies as ones that spend at least $450 per worker annually on research and development, and employ at least 20 percent of their workforce in STEM-intensive occupations. This encompasses multiple sectors, including manufacturing, energy, technology and business services. 

Major TNECD projects in advanced industries last year included DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, which announced a $400 million expansion to add 500 new jobs in Maryville and another $85 million expansion to create 400 jobs at its Athens facility. Aegis Sciences Corporation also announced plans to expand its corporate headquarters in Nashville, creating 740 new jobs as part of a $31 million investment. Advanced Munitions International is investing $553 million for a new state-of-the-art manufacturing and R&D facility in Alcoa, creating 605 new jobs.

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Team Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Tennessee is the only three-time winner of “State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. Find us on the web: tnecd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.