Rutherford County job growth tops in state and nation - WSMV Channel 4

Rutherford County job growth tops in state and nation

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MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

If you are on the job hunt you may want to consider making a drive to Rutherford County. It's second only to Williamson County in the state and third in the nation for job growth.

It's the sign of the times in Rutherford County. Hiring signs are posted all around town.

"We have a lot of companies that are homegrown here, in Smyrna, LaVergne and Murfreesboro," said Holly Sears, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce economic development director. "There are companies who have been here more than 30 years."

Add those to the record number of new companies setting up shop.

"We have big companies like Amazon.com, Nissan, Saks Fifth Avenue coming into the market to really add to that diversity," Sears said.

No wonder it's the second in the state and third in the nation for job growth.

"Hopefully, with Amazon and the addition of these new jobs, it's only going to add to our growth numbers for the next quarter," she said.

So far this year the Chamber of Commerce has attended dozens of small business ribbon cuttings, like the one today at Claiborne and Taylor Insurance. Murfreesboro Insurance Agency and Farmers Brothers Insurance merged, doubling the number of employees.

"We think there is a tremendous opportunity to grow our business while Rutherford County grows," said co-owner Doron Claiborne.

"I like to think of the small businesses as small boxes," said Eddie Smotherman, Murfreesboro city councilman. "Everybody got excited when we heard there are 1,500 jobs coming with a big box business or these large businesses coming to Murfreesboro, but the backbone of our society is based on small businesses and entrepreneurship."

Many are wondering how Rutherford County is so successful in attracting jobs. Chamber leaders said they are not reinventing the wheel; their secret to success is simple.

"Murfreesboro and Rutherford County is the largest suburb of Nashville, we have Interstate 24, and we have a strong business climate with great leadership in our elected officials," Sears said.

Chamber leaders said great schools, and a diverse community is also helping to attract jobs.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor from March 2010 to March 2011 Rutherford County employment growth jumped to 5.8 percent. The county's currently unemployment rate is about 7 percent.

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