economy

Tre Hargett, Twitter

Tennessee's economy continues to grow in 2016 according to a new economic report. The Secretary of State's office released the report Tuesday. 

The U.S. economy gained 242,000 jobs in February while average wages dropped slightly, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Friday.

The unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent.

The report indicates stronger job growth than expected, and an improvement over the previous month. January's count of 151,000 new jobs — far lower than had been anticipated — was revised upward, to 172,000. And the job gains for December were also revised upward, from 262,000 to 271,000.

At the Lee Valley consignment sale near Tekamah, Neb., dozens of used tractors, planters and other equipment were on the auction block for farmers trying to save a few extra dollars. It was a muddy day, with trucks and four-wheelers leaving deep black ruts — fitting conditions for an industry wallowing in bad news.

Tre Hargett, Twitter

The Tennessee economy continues a trend of slow and steady growth primarily in urban centers. According to The Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators Report released by the Secretary of State’s Office more than 7,700 new businesses were filed from October to December 2015, a more than 7% increase from the same period last year. More than half of these were in the state's four largest counties: Davidson, Shelby, Knox and Hamilton, signaling an increase in urbanization. 

The U.S. economy added 292,000 jobs in December while unemployment held steady at 5 percent, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of new jobs was higher than many economists had anticipated; NPR's John Ydstie says experts had expected about 200,000 new jobs.

No question, this was a traumatic, sad week because of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. It's not easy to turn to good news.

But putting grief aside for a moment, there were indeed positive developments for the country in recent days. With cheaper energy, more jobs and higher stock prices, most Americans have been seeing their financial situations improve. Here are some of this week's highlights:

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Several economic development projects are in the works in Murray and Calloway County. From an automotive parts manufacturer, to buildings equipped for potential use to road projects, there are several goals for 2015. We get a scan from Mark Manning, Murray Calloway Economic Development Corporation's Executive Director, on Sounds Good.

Each December, economists make predictions. And each new year, they get hit by unexpected events that make them look more clueless than prescient.

This year's bolt out of the blue was the plunge in oil's price, which no one saw coming.

Still, top economists' forecasts did get a lot right for 2014. One year ago, most were predicting healthy growth, tame inflation, low interest rates, rising stock prices and declining unemployment — and that's just what we got.

The economy was floored by the polar vortex early on in 2014 — plus, businesses and consumers were still a little dazed by a government shutdown and debt ceiling fight late in 2013.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, says it all produced an anxious start to the year. "Yeah, a lot of worry, particularly because we had misstepped a few other times during the recovery," he says. "We had these false dawns when we really thought the economy was going to kick into gear and then we kind of fell back into the morass."

A report on the phenomenon known as "reshoring" — the opposite of offshoring — shows that while a growing number of companies are returning to the United States to do their manufacturing, the trend is smaller and less significant to the economy than it appears.

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