TheMemphisEconomy.org will provide quarterly publications and analyses featuring unique economic and demographic data.  The combination of The University of Memphis’ professional analysis along with private and public data provide a unique perspective for economic development professionals.  Analysis topics will capture subjects such as business trends, labor force and wage trends, economic base analysis, target industry identification, and demographic analysis. 


Shelby County Demographics on the Maps

Ryan Hanson, MA, MSBA, Senior Researcher
Sparks Bureau of Business & Economic Research
The University of Memphis

 

Demographics take on new meaning when put into their spatial context. Maps enable new relationships and patterns to be viewed and understood more easily than tabular data alone. The new information created by placing the data in its spatial context can allow for better understanding and decision-making than was previously possible.

The following series of maps show demographic indicators for Shelby County by ZIP codes. The data come from the American Community Survey five-year averages and are related to several topics: population, household income, and race. Although there are only three different demographic topics mapped, similar spatial patterns are seen across all the indicators due to the relationship between socioeconomics and geography. continue

Can Memphis Survive with Slow Growth? An Analysis of Demographic and Economic Data Help Answer the Question

John Gnuschke, Ph.D., Director
and      
Jeff Wallace, Ph.D., Research Professor
Sparks Bureau of Business & Economic Research
The University of Memphis

In this article we focus on demographic and economic data to answer the question posed in the title.  In particular, our focus is on data available from U.S. government sources including the U.S. Census Bureau (Census), the American Community Survey (ACS), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Our purpose in doing so is to provide the reader with a brief overview of commonly used and easily accessible data so as to better understand demographic and economic trends impacting the Memphis area. continue


Economic Outlook 2017 – Memphis and the Nation Executive Summary

Dr. John E. Gnushke, Ph.D. Director
Sparks Bureau of Business & Economic Research, University of Memphis


Economic foundations Made America Great and will Keep America Great. Basic economic principles define how individual freedoms generate the best future for the nation.  The outlook for 2017 and beyond should focus on building the economic strength of the nation.  The economic actions of individuals and businesses will Keep America Great. The nation will grow and prosper when we release the power of individuals and businesses to make decisions free of government interference.

After the Great Recession, the outlook for the economy appeared bleak and the prospects for returning to a prolonged period of economic growth seemed unlikely.  But, the post-Great Recession period has turned out to be one of rapid global trade expansion, stable growth, low inflation, low interest rates, and declining unemployment.  Record-setting stock markets, powerful corporate profits, and the strong recovery of the labor market have led the way for income gains for most groups.  These conditions set the stage for another year of modest economic growth even as uncertainties rise.

Our nation cannot prosper while the rest of the world stagnates.  The global economy is not independent of the U.S., and our actions will impact the outlook for other nations.  The strength of this nation is in its economic power.  Higher risks in global markets will combine with higher interest rates and delayed fiscal policy actions in domestic markets to limit the upside gains many anticipate.  continue

Metro Memphis’s Economy Is Changing – Again. Are We Ready?

Reid Dulberger, President & CEO
Chief Economic Development Officer for Memphis & Shelby County
 

Ben Franklin said it best:  When you're finished changing, your finished."

Memphis has seen its share of change over the years. From a small trading outpost in the 18th century to the commercial hub of the Delta in the 19th and 20th, from small-scale producer of cotton and hardwood products for local consumption to supplier to the world, Memphis has evolved to its present role as “America’s Distribution Center.” Through it all, we have relied on our location and superior transportation assets to attract industries to drive our local economy. But like those earlier eras, change is coming. The question is: Are we ready?

Globalization has changed where products are made, and e-commerce how they’re distributed and sold. Advances in industrial technology are continually reducing the number of workers required to produce the same level of output or move the same number of containers. Those who remain need more education and a different set of skills to operate today’s more advanced equipment. In fact, where once workers with the requisite skills could be relied upon to migrate to the jobs, in today’s environment companies make investment decisions based on where they can find talent. In this environment, low-skilled workers find their options for a comfortable life ever more limited.  continue