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King University News :: Economic Study Reports Both Gains and Declines in Employment for Tennessee’s First Congressional District

The King Institute for Regional Economic Studies (KIRES) has released its eighth report, “Analysis of the Economy of the First Congressional District of Tennessee with Emphasis on the Manufacturing Sector.”

The newly released paper reports that employment trends in the economy of the First Congressional District of Tennessee mirror those in the national economy.  

“There has been a pronounced shift in employment out of goods-producing industries into the service sectors,” said Dr. Sam Evans, associate professor of Finance and Economics and director of the King Institute for Regional Economic Studies for King.  “Service sector jobs account for 80 percent of employment in the District.  Employment gains in all areas of the healthcare sector and declines in manufacturing account for much of the changed mix of employment in the region.  Manufacturing employment declined by 2,400 jobs annually over the 2000-2011 period, falling from over 70,000 jobs in 2000 to around 43,000 in 2011.”

The shift in employment from goods-producing industries to services cuts two ways.  The service sector provides more stable employment than goods-producing industries.  However, manufacturing jobs are on average higher paying and have greater total economic impact.  The manufacturing sector directly provides about 16 percent of total employment in the District.  However, the economic impact of manufacturing is far out of proportion to its share of total employment: the sector, directly and via its significant spillover impacts, is responsible for more than a quarter of total jobs and more than a third of total earnings paid to workers in the First Congressional District.

KIRES Report No. 8 introduces the concept of an earnings impact index (EII), which is a method for ranking industries in terms of their capacity to generate worker earnings. The EII takes into account the earnings multiplier or spillover impacts of an industry and the average monthly earnings paid to employees in that industry.  The EII values calculated for industries in the First Congressional District show that chemical manufacturing ranks first by a wide margin.

The King Institute for Regional Economic Studies was formed in 2010 with a threefold mission: to build a knowledge base of the regional economy, to inform public and private decision-making and to provide King University students an opportunity to participate in research projects.

KIRES Report No. 8 was prepared by Dr. Sam Evans. This report and the seven previous KIRES reports are available in electronic format at


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