UT study shows Tennessee economic growth stronger than national average

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - If you're recently back in the job force or earning a bit more these days, you're already feeling Tennessee's stronger economy. The University of Tennessee says the state's economic growth is outpacing the national average. That should mean more jobs and slightly higher earning potential for residents.

This positive news comes from a study by the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Tennessee's unemployment rate is just 4.3 percent for April. It dropped below the national rate of 5 percent for the first time in the past couple of years, for an annual rate of about 4.6 percent. UT economists project the state will see more job growth over the next few years.

"The state economy has seen remarkable improvement in the last several quarters. April's drop in the unemployment rate was exceptionally good news," said Matt Murray, associate director of the Boyd Center and the report's lead author.

The report looks at gains expected in manufacturing jobs and for more than a 5 percent increase in taxable sales. It also calls for personal income to increase by about 5 percent for Tennesseans.