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State economic indicators point to continued growth

Staff Reports • Updated Feb 16, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Initial business filings have grown year-over-year for more than five years and don't show any signs of slowing down, according to a report released Tuesday by the Tennessee Secretary of State's office.

There were 8,215 new entity filings in the fourth quarter of 2016, which represents a 6.5 percent increase over the same quarter a year before. This marks the 21st consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth. As of Jan. 1, there were 249,741 active entities in Tennessee, representing a 3.4 percent increase compared to the previous quarter’s count.

“Business leaders continue to choose Tennessee to start or expand their companies. Our data shows unprecedented growth with no signs of slowing down,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett.

The Tennessee Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report is created to provide a periodic snapshot of the state’s economy based on a variety of information, including new business data from the Division of Business Services. It’s published through a partnership with Secretary of State Tre Hargett and the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research.

Domestic firms account for 81.9 percent of all new entity filings, while foreign entities make up the remaining 18.1 percent.

Davidson County again led the way with the most initial filings among the state’s four largest counties with 1,803. Shelby County had 1,454 followed by Knox with 712 and Hamilton at 508. The four counties account for 4,477 new entity filings during the fourth quarter, which is an 8.8 percent increase compared to the same time in 2015.

The state’s unemployment rate increased in December from 4.8 percent to 4.9 percent. The state unemployment rate is now slightly above the U.S. rate of 4.8 percent, but still well below the state rate of 5.6 percent from just a year ago.

The national economy saw slow and steady growth in the fourth quarter thanks to major gains in housing, while light vehicle sales fell.

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