Politicians and their cohorts like to brag about the “great things” happening under their “leadership.” The latest round of bragging focuses on the unemployment rate and a “growth pattern.” Let’s look at some important economic indicators that can be obtained by clicking on the ET Index logo that is prominently displayed on the county’s website.
“In 2009-13, median household income in the region was $45,100, slightly higher than the state ($44,300) but lower than the nation ($53,000). Among local counties, median household income was highest in Loudon ($51,100) and Knox ($47,700) and lowest in Union ($34,400) and Monroe ($37,600). Since 2000, median household income decreased by 11% in the region, compared to decreases of 13% in the state and 10% in the nation. Among the counties, median household incomes decreased most in Jefferson and Blount (both 13%). Knox and Roane experienced the smallest rate of decline (9%).”
“In 2013, the region’s average salary was just under $43,000, below the average for the state ($45,000) and the nation ($51,000). Since 2000, the region’s average salary increased by 5%, lower than the 6% growth statewide but higher than the 4% growth nationwide. Roane County’s average annual pay grew by 23% over the same time period, more than any other county, while Blount was the only county in the region to experience a decrease in average pay (-0.5%). Between 2012 and 2013, average annual pay decreased slightly in the region, with the largest declines in Anderson and Union counties (3% and 24%, respectively).”
If the Blount Partnership and the Mayor are doing such a great job, how do they explain these economic indicators? Furthermore, the taxpayers should be asking and receiving answers as to what exactly they are getting from the taxes that they pay that are spent by the Industrial Development Board. A 13% drop in median household income and a decrease in average pay hardly warrant giving a budget increase to these people to “recruit” more of these results.
Focusing on the unemployment rate doesn’t tell the whole story. Underemployment is a big problem. What’s the underemployment rate in Blount County? That might explain why the median household drop is so huge.
Bryan Daniels Blount Partnership CEO said, “Blount County economy is second to none.” He’s right, Blount County is second to none in the highest drop in median household income and leading the way as the only county in the region to experience a decrease in average pay, when adjusted for inflation. Throwing a 16% property tax increase on the people after a 22% increase in the local option sales tax, sure doesn’t sound like “great things” under this “leadership.”
Source: ET Index