There is some perception that Nashville out shines Memphis when it comes to economic clout. However, a closer look at the numbers reveals that perception is not exactly accurate. Of the 25 wealthiest zip codes in Tennessee, Memphis and Shelby County have 11 among the riches. Six of those eleven are completely within Memphis city limits. And that doesn’t include the near by areas of Southaven and Olive Branch, Mississippi.
Germantown is the wealthiest community in Tennessee with a median income of $152,000. Other high income neighborhoods in Memphis are Cordova, Collierville, Arlington, and Eads.
Memphis Business is Growing
Most people know that Memphis is a highly popular tourist destination that provides a wide variety of jobs in the tourism industry. However, Memphis jobs are much more diversified and becoming more so. The city is a magnet to small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike.
The big commercial players include FedEx that started operations in Memphis in 1973 and today makes more than six million shipments every day to more than 220 countries. Auto zone is a leading auto parts retailer with more than 3,400 stores and made Memphis its headquarters back in 1979. International Paper first organized in 1878 and is now the largest paper and forest products company in the world, with operations in more than 40 countries. Also, UPS recently expanded operations.
IKEA is planning to soon open a store in the commercial Wolfchase area at the corner of Germantown and highway 64, not far from I-40. Other areas of Memphis experiencing growth and expansion include Overton Square, the $70 million Highland Row Projects, growth of the University of Memphis and the very recent opening of Bass Pro at the Pyramid. But it doesn’t end with these. There is also the multi hundred million dollar redevelopment of Sears at Crosstown and St. Jude Children’s Hospital is adding on an $800 million expansion. Nike is also putting in a warehouse along with the expansion of Central Station. When you start adding it all together the hundreds of millions quickly begin totaling billions of new projects coming to Memphis.
Job Growth is Real
According to the Commercial Appeal, Memphis has added 22,000 more jobs over the past year and is expected to perform even better as this year continues. The national unemployment rate has reached 5.5% and Memphis is approaching that number with a current unemployment rate of 5.9% – down from 7.3% six months ago.
Memphis works from a broad economic base that includes agriculture, medical, chemicals, machinery, clothing, food products, electronic equipment, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, among many other medium to small industries.
No wonder that major companies and people from all walks of life are attracted to the Memphis area.
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