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Opinion | The days of Memphis' economy "plugging along" are over | Richard Ransom

Richard Ransom highlights some positive trends in Memphis' economic growth since the COVID pandemic began.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Most years, Memphis just kind of plugs along, much more likely to be on the struggling side of job growth when compared to other cities.

On Wednesday, we learned for only the second time in the past decade, the Memphis Metropolitan Area is growing at a faster pace than the nation's economy as a whole. 

At the start of 2021, our unemployment rate was at 7%. We ended the year at 4.1%, adding 18,500 jobs.

Some of the biggest growers were the supply chain and logistics sector at 13% and advanced manufacturing at 7%. The growth also has us just 1,000 jobs shy of where we were pre-pandemic.

The news is very good. With Ford starting to build its new Blue Oval City plant, including 30,000 construction jobs alone, you can see why there's more optimism than we've seen in quite some time that the Memphis economy's days of "plugging along" are over.

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