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Weekend edition July 28, 2023 | Shannon Smith

Nurses top the list of most-needed employees in Knoxville

This is according to data from the Knoxville Chamber's monthly Economic Conditions Outlook.

When the Knoxville Chamber’s Economic Conditions Outlook, financed by First Horizon Bank, comes out each month, the data always varies.

Sometimes it reports higher inflation, fewer home sales, or a fluctuating labor force. But one data point that remains constant is which job field has the most open positions.

The answer is always nurses.

In May 2023, there were 469 job postings for registered nurses in the Knoxville area, more than any other job type. Coming in second place at almost half as many openings as nursing was the retail sector at 266 jobs.

Anecdotally, we’ve heard why nurses are quitting. They’re working long hours for little reward. They can double their salaries taking travel nurse positions. They’ve had enough and have changed industries completely.

New programs through the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Roane State Community College are working to bolster the number of local nurses, but that takes time. Until then, if you’re a nurse looking for a job in Knoxville, you’ve got options.

Other data points of note in the latest Economic Conditions Outlook include:

  • The Knoxville area unemployment rate in May was 3.0 percent, up from 2.3 percent in April and unchanged from May 2022.
  • Knox County’s unemployment rate in May was 2.8 percent, up from 2.1 percent in April and unchanged from May 2022.
  • Home sales in East Tennessee increased 12.2 percent from April to May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 20,201.
  • Similarly, home sales in Knox County increased 15.5 percent from the previous month to a SAAR of 7,393.
  • Compared to the previous year, home sales were down 10.2 percent in the Knoxville area and 8.9 percent in Knox County.
  • A total of 236 new business licenses were issued in May 2023 compared to 255 in April and 251 in May 2022.

Click here to access the full report.

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