Enterprise Leaders Specific Optimism About Tennessee Financial system Regardless of Lingering Worries about Inflation

Enterprise Leaders Specific Optimism About Tennessee Financial system Regardless of Lingering Worries about Inflation

Enterprise leaders throughout the state are exhibiting elevated optimism for Tennessee’s economic system whereas persevering with to be pessimistic concerning the nationwide economic system, in accordance with a latest survey by the Boyd Heart for Enterprise and Financial Analysis on the College of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Greater than 72% of these surveyed in January for the Tennessee Enterprise Leaders Survey mentioned they anticipate the state’s financial situations to enhance over the following yr, and solely 6% anticipate any sort of decline. As for the nationwide economic system, 26% of these surveyed anticipate situations to enhance and 49% suppose situations will worsen.

Enterprise Leaders Specific Optimism About Tennessee Financial system Regardless of Lingering Worries about Inflation
Financial expectations for the following 12 months.

“Our state has finished an excellent job of weathering these previous few years and conserving Tennessee open for enterprise,” mentioned Don Bruce, director of the Boyd Heart. “Individuals are transferring to Tennessee and becoming a member of the labor drive as properly, which supplies us a leg up and additional instills confidence in Tennessee’s economic system.”

Many survey respondents — together with virtually 60% in Center Tennessee and 45% statewide – consider sturdy enterprise funding is driving good financial situations. Sturdy authorities management was the second hottest driver, cited amongst enterprise leaders throughout the state at virtually 27%.

The Boyd Heart gathered about 50 survey respondents and authorities officers for a dinner in Nashville in February to debate the state’s economic system, and the feelings shared in that room mirrored these of the survey. Regardless of the optimism concerning the common economic system, many had been nonetheless frightened a few scarcity of appropriately skilled staff.

“Once I requested these enterprise leaders about Tennessee’s economic system in relation to the U.S., almost each hand in that room shot up. All of them suppose our state is doing nice,” Bruce mentioned. “Nevertheless, there are nonetheless numerous employers on the market searching for staff to fill positions. The demand is there, however the provide hasn’t stored up. How can we enhance the availability of staff and get them prepared to fulfill workforce wants in Tennessee?”

Virtually 66% of survey respondents mentioned they don’t have an satisfactory provide of staff skilled to work of their industries. Roughly two-thirds mentioned it’s because candidates lack a piece ethic, and virtually half mentioned that initiative was lacking. 4 in 10 enterprise leaders added that potential workers lack technical expertise or are unrealistic about compensation.

“There are nonetheless lots of jobs that should be crammed, although extra Tennesseans are working now than earlier than the pandemic,” Bruce mentioned. “Employers are having bother hiring from that dwindling pool of accessible and unemployed individuals.”


Figure 2: Thinking about the local workforce, what skills or attributes do find lacking in job applicants? (Respondents were able to select up to 3)
Attributes missing in job candidates.

To enhance Tennessee’s enterprise local weather, respondents mentioned the state must concentrate on enhancing workforce improvement (60%), constructing higher infrastructure (49%) and including higher expertise infrastructure like high-speed web (45%). Enterprise leaders in Center Tennessee had been extra prone to concentrate on bodily and technological infrastructure, whereas East Tennessee respondents had been extra keen on workforce improvement.

Inflation nonetheless performs a giant function in enterprise selections as properly, with virtually half of respondents saying their corporations are going through antagonistic financial situations. To fight inflation and the employee scarcity, 78% of respondents supplied workers larger wages, 74% elevated costs for patrons and 65% checked out new provide chain choices to decrease prices.

Figure 3: Companies have increased wages and charged higher prices over the past year due to inflation.
Responses to inflation over the previous yr.

Different findings:

  • 47% of enterprise leaders mentioned they battle to draw or retain staff. Enterprise leaders in East Tennessee are inclined to really feel the scarcity extra (55%), whereas these in center Tennessee see it as much less of a difficulty (38%).
  • Housing was the highest problem associated to retaining or attracting staff—each the associated fee (cited by 35%) and the supply (cited by 29%). East Tennessee respondents had been extra prone to concentrate on availability of housing, and people in center Tennessee had been frightened extra about the price of housing.
  • 4 in 5 respondents anticipate a recession to hit the U.S. economic system this yr.
  • About 86% of enterprise leaders need the Federal Reserve to cease elevating rates of interest this yr.

The total set of survey responses is offered on the Boyd Heart web site.


Cindi King (865-974-0937, [email protected])

Erin Hatfield (865-974-6086, [email protected])