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Republicans Energized about Nuclear Power; Democrats by Green Jobs

All four Republican candidates for governor expressed support Wednesday for ramping up nuclear power as part of the state’s energy future in a forum before the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce.

Two Democratic candidates spoke in a separate session with members of the organization prior to the Republicans taking their turn at a downtown Nashville forum Wednesday. The Democrats were not asked about nuclear energy, but they addressed green energy as a vital part of the state’s economic future.

Republicans were asked specifically about coal and nuclear power. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, from Blountville, said the nation took a wrong turn on nuclear energy decades ago.

“One of the worst mistakes we’ve ever made in this country, in the late 1970s, was turning away from nuclear energy,” Ramsey said. “I had a chance to go to work building one of those plants, yet we mothballed that and we’ve gone backward. We need to look at nuclear energy, coal and natural gas. Green energy is all well and good, but it’s going to be a small percentage. We’ve got to know when you turn the light switch on that the lights will come on.”

Ramsey said the state should continue to rely on coal and find the best ways to obtain it.

“We have to rely on good science. I mentioned that before at a forum and got criticized,” Ramsey said. “I’m opposed to mountaintop removal, but at the same time there are ways of getting to that coal, and we need to do it. Alternative fuels are out there but a lot is down the road. We’ve got 100 years of reserves in the ground, and that’s going to help us be energy independent.”

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam said the approach should be to pursue a policy that includes nuclear power, solar power and wind power.

“But we also need to use less,” Haslam said. “In Knoxville, we looked at our own energy use, not only as good stewards of the environment, but we saved money. As a country, we do have to consider producing more energy domestically.”

Bill Gibbons, Shelby County district attorney general, said a diverse energy policy is needed and said Gov. Phil Bredesen has taken the state in the right direction with energy technology.

“We also need nuclear energy. We’ve got to be realistic about that,” Gibbons said. “It’s a clean source of energy. We’ve got to have that as part of the mix.”

U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp of Chattanooga complimented the Obama administration for its openness to nuclear energy.

“We need to build another hundred nuclear reactors as a nation in the next 20 years,” Wamp said.

Referring to both President Barack Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Wamp said, “I’m frankly glad they realize if they want to meet any of their carbon goals they have to have an ambitious nuclear plan, and I think they’re starting to get that drift.”

Democrats Mike McWherter, a Jackson businessman, and Kim McMillan, a former state legislator and aide to Bredesen, pointed to the potential in jobs related to new investment in polycrystalline silicon in the state. Hemlock Semiconductor and Wacker Chemie are making large investments in Tennessee. Both Democrats said the focus should be on attracting suppliers for those companies. Hemlock will be in Montgomery County, Wacker in Bradley County.

“We’re all very proud of the work Governor Bredesen has done in green energy,” McMillan said. “That is the job of the future. We need to bring in other satellite industries to feed off them. That’s where the growth will be. We can grow this economy by focusing on the green energy field. I’m excited about the possibility of becoming the Silicon Valley of the South.”

McWherter found a bright spot to talk about.

“In so many ways, Tennessee lags many other states, but I want to brag on Tennessee,” McWherter said. “We’re among the top three states in creating clean energy jobs. They are Oregon, Colorado and Tennessee. That’s a great accomplishment. That’s a position I want to see Tennessee stay in.

“The suppliers that will come in for Hemlock and Wacker will want to locate in a corridor between Clarksville and Chattanooga. What we’ve got to do is go out and actively recruit those supplying industries for those two signature companies. As your next governor, I assure you I will go after those industries very aggressively.”

McWherter said all Tennesseans are invested in those companies, given the tax incentives that attracted them to the state.

“I don’t care where you live in Tennessee, you’ve got an investment in Volkswagen and Wacker and Hemlock. You pay taxes, and we have given tax incentives. You’ve got an investment,” McWherter said.

“The way to get a return is to go out and capture these supplying industries. Once we get those industries in here, they will employ people,” he added. “That makes their employees consumers, and that helps the revenue situation for everyone across the state. It is imperative that the next governor knows to go out and recruit those supplying industries.”

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News

Economists Talk, Haslam Listens

Bill Haslam went to school Wednesday, listening to analysis from economics professors at Middle Tennessee State University.

What he learned wasn’t cheerful. The economy — and the state budget — are in for some challenging times. There will be improvement, he was told, but better days are not likely to come quickly.

Haslam, mayor of Knoxville and Republican candidate for governor, met on the Murfreesboro campus with university President Sidney McPhee, economists and other community leaders.

Haslam began the meeting by saying he was there to learn. He asked questions, and he took notes.

He told the group that when running for governor you do three things. You raise money, you try to sell yourself to the voters, and the part that gets crowded out is learning.

Haslam did offer his own opinion about the economic picture, however. “The economy will come back,” he said. “There are more learned minds than mine here, but in my own view it’s going to be awhile before it comes back.”

Haslam heard a lot. Albert DePrince, professor of financial economics, forecast a 1 percent revenue growth for the next year, but he said he tends to forecast lower than others might because it’s easier to adjust to circumstances when figures are higher than expectations rather than lower. DePrince said he believed the economy will turn a corner or at least flatten out this spring.

“But there is a big headwind out there,” DePrince said.

McPhee said times have changed for a college president.

“Ten years ago, when I came to this job, if anyone had told me I need to understand the economics of our society, I would have said you’re looking at the wrong person,” McPhee said. “But we have moved from the president being an academic to managing a major operation, and what happens in the economy impacts what goes on on our campus.”

McPhee noted that in eight of his 10 years as president, MTSU has had budget cuts.

“If someone thinks there are places to cut fat, I promise you we’re at the marrow,” McPhee said.

William Ford, professor and holder of the Weatherford Chair of Finance at the school, urged Haslam if he becomes governor to look at universities’ success ratio in terms of per-pupil cost and outcome. He promoted strides at MTSU on that count.

“I’m not trying to talk you into going around beating up on the University of Tennessee, but we are saying in higher education look at the per-pupil cost for what’s coming out,” Ford said. “We turn out more well-qualified people than Tennessee State University and the University of Memphis and particularly some others. I honestly believe we are the most efficient.”

The group addressed the need to match what schools offer to the kind of training workers will need in a recovery. The conversation also touched on the housing market in the community.

After the meeting, Haslam was asked what he thought of the discussion.

“I think it’s a realistic appraisal of our economy and the challenges facing the state,” he said. “When I started running, I knew the state faced serious challenges, and the problems are deeper than any of us thought a year ago, in terms of both the state’s budget and the job challenge.”

There’s a need to be patient, he said.

“I do think the economy is going to come back, but I don’t think it’s going to come rushing back in terms that are going to save the state’s budget situation or make it easy to come back in the job market,” he said.

“When this job market comes back, unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to be where all boats rise at the same time,” he added. “I think it’s going to be a much more differentiating economy, where those people who have better training or education are going to feel the economy come back first, and for others it will be a lot harder.”

As for Ford’s plug for MTSU’s efficiency compared to other schools, Haslam said, “Everywhere you go as a candidate for governor, everyone is proud of their institution, and they want to make certain their institution gets their share. I don’t know that that’s a bad thing.”

He was asked if he gets to do as much listening as he would like.

“No. As a candidate, you’d love to spend the majority of your time learning,” he said. “That’s the important thing that gets crowded out.”

Haslam, whose wife, Crissy, was with him throughout the day, spent much of the afternoon knocking on doors in a Rutherford County neighborhood. Several people who answered immediately said they recognized him from television. Sometimes residents told Haslam he had their votes. When a woman said she would “put you on my list” to be considered, he said, “Just remember who came and knocked on your door.”

Haslam had lunch Wednesday at the City Cafe in Murfreesboro, a popular spot for political candidates. Among the people he met as he made the rounds shaking hands was a Democrat, Bob Kolarich, a Nashville attorney with the firm Price, Hill, Kolarich.

“I was speaking with a fellow Democrat, and we were talking about which of the gubernatorial candidates we should contribute to,” Kolarich said after meeting Haslam. “My friend said, ‘Let’s face it. It’s going to be a Republican year, and the best man in the field is Mr. Haslam out of Knoxville. So give your money to him.'”

So Kolarich was asked if he will follow through.

“I haven’t decided yet,” he said.

Bill Haslam went to school Wednesday, listening to analysis from economics professors at Middle Tennessee State University.


What Haslam learned wasn’t cheerful. The economy — and the state budget — are in for some challenging times. There will be improvement, he was told, but better days are not likely to come quickly.


Haslam, mayor of Knoxville and Republican candidate for governor, met on the Murfreesboro campus with university President Sidney McPhee, economists and other community leaders.


Haslam began the meeting by saying he was there to learn. He asked questions, and he took notes.

He told the group that when running for governor you do three things. You raise money, you try to sell yourself to the voters, and the part that gets crowded out is learning.


Haslam did offer his own opinion about the economic picture, however. “The economy will come back,” he said. “There are more learned minds than mine here, but in my own view it’s going to be awhile before it comes back.”


Haslam heard a lot. Albert DePrince, professor of financial economics, forecast a 1 percent revenue growth for the next year, but he said he tends to forecast lower than others might because it’s easier to adjust to circumstances when figures are higher than expectations rather than lower. DePrince said he believed the economy will turn a corner this spring or at least flatten out this spring.


“But there is a big headwind out there,” DePrince said.


McPhee said times have changed for a college president.


“Ten years ago, when I came to this job, if anyone had told me I need to understand the economics of our society, I would have said you’re looking at the wrong person,” McPhee said. “But we have moved from the president being an academic to managing a major operation, and what happens in the economy impacts what goes on on our campus.”


McPhee noted that in eight of his 10 years as president, MTSU has had budget cuts.


“If someone thinks there are places to cut fat, I promise you we’re at the marrow,” McPhee said.


William Ford, professor and holder of the Weatherford Chair of Finance at the school, urged Haslam if he becomes governor to look at universities’ success ratio in terms of per-pupil cost and outcome. He promoted strides at MTSU on that count.


“I’m not trying to talk you into going around beating up on the University of Tennessee, but we are saying in higher education look at the per-pupil cost for what’s coming out,” Ford said. “We turn out more well-qualified people than Tennessee State University and the University of Memphis and particularly some others. I honestly believe we are the most efficient.”


The group addressed the need to match what schools offer to the kind of training workers will need in a recovery. The conversation also covered the housing market in the community, and Steve Flatt, president of National Healthcare Corporation, which operates nursing homes, told Haslam 55 percent of the 4,000 patients his company cares for are covered by TennCare, the state’s troubled Medicaid program, so it’s increasingly difficult.


After the meeting, Haslam was asked what he thought of the discussion.


“I think it’s a realistic appraisal of our economy and the challenges facing the state,” he said. “When I started running, I knew the state faced serious challenges, and the problems are deeper than any of us thought a year ago, in terms of both the state’s budget and the job challenge.”


He voiced a need to be patient.


“I do think the economy is going to come back, but I don’t think it’s going to come rushing back in terms that are going to save the state’s budget situation or make it easy to come back in the job market,” he said. “When this job market comes back, unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to be where all boats rise at the same time. I think it’s going to be a much more differentiating economy, where those people who have better training or education are going to feel the economy come back first, and for others it will be a lot harder.”


As for Ford’s plug for MTSU’s efficiency compared to other schools, Haslam said, “Everywhere you go as a candidate for governor, everyone is proud of their institution, and they want to make certain their institution gets their share. I don’t know that that’s a bad thing.”


He was asked if he gets to do as much listening as he would like.


“No. As a candidate, you’d love to spend the majority of your time learning,” he said. “That’s the important thing that gets crowded out.”

Haslam, whose wife Crissy was with him throughout the day, spent much of the afternoon knocking on doors in a Rutherford County neighborhood. Several people who answered immediately said they recognized him from television. Sometimes residents told Haslam he had their votes. When a woman said she would “put you on my list” to be considered, he said, “Just remember who came and knocked on your door.”


Haslam had lunch Wednesday at the City Cafe in Murfreesboro, a popular spot for political candidates. Among the people he met as he made the rounds shaking hands was a Democrat, Bob Kolarich, a Nashville attorney with the firm Price, Hill, Kolarich.


“I was speaking with a fellow Democrat, and we were talking about which of the gubernatorial candidates we should contribute to,” Kolarich said after meeting Haslam. “My friend said, ‘Let’s face it. It’s going to be a Republican year, and the best man in the field is Mr. Haslam out of Knoxville. So give your money to him.'”


So Kolarich was asked if he will follow through.


“I haven’t decided yet,” he said.

Bill Haslam went to school Wednesday, listening to analysis from economics professors at Middle Tennessee State University.

What Haslam learned wasn’t cheerful. The economy — and the state budget — are in for some challenging times. There will be improvement, he was told, but better days are not likely to come quickly.

Haslam, mayor of Knoxville and Republican candidate for governor, met on the Murfreesboro campus with university President Sidney McPhee, economists and other community leaders.

Haslam began the meeting by saying he was there to learn. He asked questions, and he took notes.

He told the group that when running for governor you do three things. You raise money, you try to sell yourself to the voters, and the part that gets crowded out is learning.

Haslam did offer his own opinion about the economic picture, however. “The economy will come back,” he said. “There are more learned minds than mine here, but in my own view it’s going to be awhile before it comes back.”

Haslam heard a lot. Albert DePrince, professor of financial economics, forecast a 1 percent revenue growth for the next year, but he said he tends to forecast lower than others might because it’s easier to adjust to circumstances when figures are higher than expectations rather than lower. DePrince said he believed the economy will turn a corner this spring or at least flatten out this spring.

“But there is a big headwind out there,” DePrince said.

McPhee said times have changed for a college president.

“Ten years ago, when I came to this job, if anyone had told me I need to understand the economics of our society, I would have said you’re looking at the wrong person,” McPhee said. “But we have moved from the president being an academic to managing a major operation, and what happens in the economy impacts what goes on on our campus.”

McPhee noted that in eight of his 10 years as president, MTSU has had budget cuts.

“If someone thinks there are places to cut fat, I promise you we’re at the marrow,” McPhee said.

William Ford, professor and holder of the Weatherford Chair of Finance at the school, urged Haslam if he becomes governor to look at universities’ success ratio in terms of per-pupil cost and outcome. He promoted strides at MTSU on that count.

“I’m not trying to talk you into going around beating up on the University of Tennessee, but we are saying in higher education look at the per-pupil cost for what’s coming out,” Ford said. “We turn out more well-qualified people than Tennessee State University and the University of Memphis and particularly some others. I honestly believe we are the most efficient.”

The group addressed the need to match what schools offer to the kind of training workers will need in a recovery. The conversation also covered the housing market in the community, and Steve Flatt, president of National Healthcare Corporation, which operates nursing homes, told Haslam 55 percent of the 4,000 patients his company cares for are covered by TennCare, the state’s troubled Medicaid program, so it’s increasingly difficult.

After the meeting, Haslam was asked what he thought of the discussion.

“I think it’s a realistic appraisal of our economy and the challenges facing the state,” he said. “When I started running, I knew the state faced serious challenges, and the problems are deeper than any of us thought a year ago, in terms of both the state’s budget and the job challenge.”

He voiced a need to be patient.

“I do think the economy is going to come back, but I don’t think it’s going to come rushing back in terms that are going to save the state’s budget situation or make it easy to come back in the job market,” he said. “When this job market comes back, unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to be where all boats rise at the same time. I think it’s going to be a much more differentiating economy, where those people who have better training or education are going to feel the economy come back first, and for others it will be a lot harder.”

As for Ford’s plug for MTSU’s efficiency compared to other schools, Haslam said, “Everywhere you go as a candidate for governor, everyone is proud of their institution, and they want to make certain their institution gets their share. I don’t know that that’s a bad thing.”

He was asked if he gets to do as much listening as he would like.

“No. As a candidate, you’d love to spend the majority of your time learning,” he said. “That’s the important thing that gets crowded out.”

Haslam, whose wife Crissy was with him throughout the day, spent much of the afternoon knocking on doors in a Rutherford County neighborhood. Several people who answered immediately said they recognized him from television. Sometimes residents told Haslam he had their votes. When a woman said she would “put you on my list” to be considered, he said, “Just remember who came and knocked on your door.”

Haslam had lunch Wednesday at the City Cafe in Murfreesboro, a popular spot for political candidates. Among the people he met as he made the rounds shaking hands was a Democrat, Bob Kolarich, a Nashville attorney with the firm Price, Hill, Kolarich.

“I was speaking with a fellow Democrat, and we were talking about which of the gubernatorial candidates we should contribute to,” Kolarich said after meeting Haslam. “My friend said, ‘Let’s face it. It’s going to be a Republican year, and the best man in the field is Mr. Haslam out of Knoxville. So give your money to him.'”

So Kolarich was asked if he will follow through.

“I haven’t decided yet,” he said.

Categories
Press Releases

Realtor.org: U.S. December Existing-Home Sales Down, Prices Rise; 2009 Sales Up Overall

Press release from the National Association of Realtors, Jan. 25, 2010:

In the Southern United States, existing-home December sales dropped 16.3 percent to an annual pace of 2.01 million, but are 15.5 percent above December 2008

After a rising surge from September through November, existing-home sales fell as expected in December after first-time buyers rushed to complete sales before the original November deadline for the tax credit. However, prices rose from December 2008 and annual sales improved in 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – fell 16.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 5.45 million units in December from 6.54 million in November, but remain 15.0 percent above the 4.74 million-unit level in December 2008.

For all of 2009 there were 5,156,000 existing-home sales, which was 4.9 percent higher than the 4,913,000 transactions recorded in 2008; it was the first annual sales gain since 2005.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said there were no surprises in the data. “It’s significant that home sales remain above year-ago levels, but the market is going through a period of swings driven by the tax credit,” he said. “We’ll likely have another surge in the spring as home buyers take advantage of the extended and expanded tax credit. By early summer the overall market should benefit from more balanced inventory, and sales are on track to rise again in 2010. However, the job market remains a concern and could dampen the housing recovery – job creation is key to a continued recovery in the second half of the year.”

An NAR practitioner survey2 shows first-time buyers purchased 43 percent of homes in December, down from 51 percent in November. Repeat buyers rose to 42 percent of transactions in December from 37 percent in November; the remaining sales were to investors.

The national median existing-home price3 for all housing types was $178,300 in December, which is 1.5 percent higher than December 2008. “The median price rose because of an increased number of mid- to upper-priced homes in the sales mix,” Yun said. It was the first year-over-year gain in median price since August 2007.

NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates in Tucson, Ariz., said market conditions are challenging in some areas. “There’s a shortage of lower priced homes for sale in much of the country, resulting in multiple bids in some areas,” she said.

“Raw unsold inventory has been trending down. As the market heats up again this spring, buyers may need to be prepared to move quickly on a particular home – the best advice is to begin working with a Realtor® now to be able to use the tax credit and benefit from the increased buying power in the current market,” Golder said.

Total housing inventory at the end of December fell 6.6 percent to 3.29 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 7.2-month supply4 at the current sales pace, up from a 6.5-month supply in November. Raw unsold inventory is 11.1 percent below a year ago, is at the lowest level since March 2006, and is 28.2 percent below the record of 4.58 million in July 2008.

Distressed homes, which accounted for 32 percent of sales last month, continue to downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes in the same area. For all of 2009, the median price was $173,500, down 12.4 percent from $198,100 in 2008; distressed homes accounted for 36 percent of total sales last year.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.93 percent in December from 4.88 percent in November; the rate was 5.29 percent in December 2008.

Single-family home sales fell 16.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million in December from a pace of 5.76 million in November, but are 12.7 percent above the 4.25 million level in December 2008. For all of 2009, single-family sales rose 5.0 percent to 4,566,000.

The median existing single-family home price was $177,500 in December, which is 1.4 percent above a year ago. For all last year, the single-family median was $173,200, down 11.9 percent from 2008.

Existing condominium and co-op sales fell 15.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 660,000 in December from 780,000 in November, but are 34.7 percent higher than the 490,000-unit pace a year ago. For all of 2009, condo sales rose 4.8 percent to 590,000 units.

The median existing condo price5 was $183,700 in December, up 1.0 percent from December 2008. For all of last year, the median condo price was $176,100, which is 16.1 percent below 2008.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast dropped 19.5 percent to an annual level of 910,000 in December but are 21.3 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $241,700, up 3.2 percent from December 2008.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest fell 25.8 percent in December to a level of 1.15 million but are 8.5 percent higher than December 2008. The median price in the Midwest was $143,200, which is 1.8 percent above a year ago.

In the South, existing-home sales dropped 16.3 percent to an annual pace of 2.01 million in December but are 15.5 percent above December 2008. The median price in the South was $152,000, down 1.0 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 4.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.38 million in December but are 15.0 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the West was $236,000, up 2.7 percent from December 2008.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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Press Releases

Latest TN Unemployment Figures Jump to 10.9 Percent

State of Tennessee press release, Jan. 21, 2010:

December Unemployment Rate Climbs

Seasonally Adjusted Rate Up 0.7 Percentage Point from November

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley announced today Tennessee’s unemployment rate for December was 10.9 percent, up 0.7 percentage point from the November rate of 10.2 percent.

“This month we’ve seen a cumulative effect of statistical information which resulted in our high rate of unemployment,” reported Labor Commissioner James Neeley. “These figures are consistent with a weak holiday period that outweighed seasonal adjustments to the unemployment rate this time of year.”

The December rate a year ago was 7.6 percent. The national unemployment rate for December 2009 was 10.0 percent, equal to the November rate of 10.0 percent.

Major Changes in Estimated Nonagricultural Employment

November 2009 to December 2009

According to the Business Survey, 1,700 job gains occurred in retail trade; 1,200 in health care and social assistance; and 1,000 in professional, scientific and technical services. Major employment decreases occurred in manufacturing, down by 4,300; mining and construction declined by 3,900; and administrative, support and waste services declined by 2,900 jobs.

Major Changes in Estimated Nonagricultural Employment

December 2008 to December 2009

Year-over-year increases occurred in health care and social assistance, up by 8,700; federal government increased 1,500; and local government educational services gained 1,400. Manufacturing decreased by 27,600 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities lost 26,800; and mining and construction declined by 24,700.

Categories
News Tax and Budget

Slow Economy Predicted to Slowly Improve in 2010

Tennessee’s economy is showing signs of recovery, but the government’s tax take isn’t going to start rising again for a while, a University of Tennessee economist is forecasting.

William F. Fox, director of UT’s Center for Business and Economic Research in Knoxvillle, says November’s tax collection numbers for the state, although still down from last year, are an improvement over previous months in 2009 — at least in terms of showing a smaller falloff from 2008.

“I expect that to continue,” Fox told TNReport.com. He also spoke earlier this week before the State Funding Board and will talk again about the Volunteer State’s economic picture with members of the Legislture’s Joint Business Tax Committee on Thursday.

Still, negative revenue growth is probably in store for the state for the next six to eight months, he predicted.

November tax collections for Tennessee lagged $13.5 million below budgeted estimates, the Department of Finance reported Monday. Sales tax collections were down $21.2 million.

“The recovery in tax revenues is slow everywhere,” said Fox. “And the fact that you are experiencing economic growth does not necessarily equate to better tax collections.”

But Fox said he expects three percent revenue growth next year. “Tax revenues will begin to recover slowly after the economy begins to grow,” he said.

The state’s dreary employment market will also take some time to brighten, even though Fox said there’s evidence Tennessee businesses are on the whole expanding production. Unemployed workers are probably not going to see a glut of “Help Wanted” signs cluttering up store and company windows, at least in the short term.

Estimates released last month showed Tennessee’s unemployment at 10.5 percent — and much higher in many rural communities. State Labor Commissioner James Neely said the numbers, which overall were unchanged from October, indicated “a pattern of stabilization in most sectors of Tennessee’s economy.” New numbers are due out soon.

Fox doesn’t anticipate employment will begin growing in earnest for the next three or four months. “That’s part of why tax revenues won’t begin to improve for a while either,” he added.