Tennessee Employment and Education

Unemployment is up a little from 5.6% in 2005 to 5.9% today. Earnings are up 1.6% in the state overall. Leading industries are production of chemicals, transportation equipment, rubber, and plastics. Many people visit the city of Nashville to see the Grand Ole Opry and visit the birthplace of country music in Bristol, Tennessee. The second most visited house in the United States is Graceland, Elvis’s home in Memphis. Still others come to visit the National Civil Rights Museum and the spot where Martin Luther King was killed, which is also in Memphis. For sports enthusiasts, Tennessee has some of the best white water rafting in the United States and it is known for having the largest artificial ski resort ever made.

In the nineties, Tennessee had a low graduation rate of 67.1%. This low number combined with the No Child Left Behind Act has influenced the administration to offer more aggressive approaches to ensure that teens are graduating and getting jobs after high school. Tennessee’s Governor Bredesen has committed Tennessee to one of the most aggressive graduation rate improvement goals in the country, to 90 percent by 2012. One of the ways they are working on this is their new program called Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG). This program has received the highest national performance award for the superior graduation rate and post-secondary success rate of the program's participants. JTG students enrolled in the program had a graduation rate of 96.36 percent and 82 percent of those students proceeded into higher education or the military, or secured employment after high school.