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4 Trends In The Memphis Job Market

For the last few years, nearly everything has changed in cities across the U.S., and Memphis is no exception. We’ve experienced drastic shifts in public health, property value, education; and at the top of the list of changes is the job market. 

Who’s hiring and who’s looking for work has changed along with shifts in pay, employee benefits, job flexibility, and more.

At the end of 2021, Memphis’ unemployment rate eased back down to pre-pandemic levels— an estimated 3.9%. Record numbers of job openings were posted across city platforms and on the Choose901 Job Board, several major projects have been slated to bring additional jobs to the Memphis metro area, and the National Civil Right Museum announced a new program in partnership with Autozone for further corporate representation in the C-Suite.

But what does that mean for job-seekers and employers? Here are 4 major trends happening in the Memphis job market right now:

Job seekers hold more power.

Because so many organizations are recruiting more staff, employees have the upper hand to choose jobs with higher wages, additional benefits like hiring bonuses, and more flexibility around virtual work. Many industries in high demand (education, nursing/healthcare, hospitality) are offering thousands of dollars in hiring bonuses to entice new talent and incentivize current employees to recommend new candidates. 


Employers have eased their qualifications around education and experience for job seekers.


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Like many things, the pandemic accelerated a lot of changes that were already in motion. The conversation around companies easing up on degree requirements is one that has been in the works for awhile. Employers have long debated which jobs really need a degree or prior experience, but the pandemic pushed them to act on the hunch that their organization’s own training could educate an individual well enough. 

This has been a greatly beneficial change for job-seekers in Memphis and beyond. Major employers like Google, Facebook, Walmart, and Accenture have eased their degree requirements; and Memphis-based organizations have expanded their new talent pipelines by turning to unique training programs like The Collective Blueprint, Tech901, and many others. 


There is continued emphasis on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

According to LinkedIn, “Diversity and Inclusion Manager” was the second-fastest growing job title in 2021 right behind “Vaccine Specialist.” While Memphis still has a long way to go in the fight for economic equality, the advancement of diversity in our city has increased in major ways from the top to bottom of organizations in the last two years. For example, Memphians are now benefiting from the leadership of Beverly Robertson at the Greater Memphis Chamber, Paul Young at the Downtown Memphis Commission, Rory Thomas at the Memphis Medical District Collaborative, Tannera Gibson at the Memphis Bar Association, and Dr. Ocpvia Stafford at Methodist South Hospital, just to name a few. 

The National Civil Rights Museum just announced a new program in partnership with Autozone called the Corporate Equity Center that “will highlight and explore how inequities turn into decisions that are obstacles to advancement for Black employees in companies and other workplaces.” With $5M in seed funding, the Corporate Equity Center has their first cohort of executives lined up with another Memphis-based organization, First Horizon. 


In Memphis, massive projects have been announced that will lead to job creation and cultural enrichment in our neighborhoods.


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Ford has committed to investing $5.6B at the Memphis Regional Megasite resulting in 6,000 jobs (in addition to thousands more at the new EV factory). A massive, Black-owned film production site was announced for Whitehaven, creating a major landscape footprint as well as great cultural value. Don’t forget about the newly approved $267M to freshen up the 100 N. Main Building in Downtown Memphis.

Lastly, the procurement of Orange Mound Tower—by local arts organizations Unapologetic and Tone Memphis—is a big move for Black Business. Victoria Washington, Tone Executive Director and James Duke, Unapologetic Founder, are leading the charge to turn the 200ft landmark that’s been left unused for 20 years—overlooking America’s first African American neighborhood—into housing, affordable commercial space for budding Black entrepreneurs, a coffee shop, and more.  

In summary, if you’re a job seeker, now’s the time to get it. Be confident in yourself and your skills, and take advantage of this season of growth.

If you are an employer or entrepreneur looking for talent, let’s talk. We can help connect you with talented Memphians doing great things in, and for, our city.

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