What Knoxville’s current employment levels say about pandemic recovery

Certain industries are in need of workers, but employment in the Knoxville area isn’t that far off pre-pandemic levels.

In June, there were 415,339 employed people in the Knoxville metropolitan statistical area, about 3,600 fewer than February 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

That’s less than 1% off from pre-pandemic employment levels and well above the pandemic low of 354,000 in April 2020. 

“The best I can tell you is that overall in the aggregate, it looks like as many people are working now in Knoxville as they were before the pandemic,” said Matt Harris, associate professor of economics at the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research.

There are also hundreds of new jobs in the pipeline. Last week, international firm IGT Technologies announced it had opened a Knoxville location, had already hired about 150 people and planned to double that workforce locally.