Oakland, TN and the Memphis region offers a diverse, metropolitan workforce at wage rates that are lower than most other parts of the country. The region is home to a host of world-class higher education institutions, the largest community college in Tennessee, a number of public and private vocational and technical training facilities and a long list of quality public and private school systems. Over the past three decades, the presence of companies like FedEx and the region’s superior distribution infrastructure have earned Memphis the title, “America’s Distribution Center.” During the same period the region’s workforce has a higher percentage of logistics workers than any other metropolitan area in the country.

Did you know?

  • Tennessee is a right to work state.
  • The median age of the Memphis workforce is 35.
  • Memphis has a large concentration of corporate offices, logistics and life science employees.
  • Memphis offers exceptional universities, community colleges and vocational/technical schools with tailored programs for industry.


Workforce Depth + Breadth

Not only does Memphis draw from a three-state labor pool (Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area), employment ranges across the spectrum of industries. Employment is relatively balanced among industries giving the Memphis workforce breadth in both skills and experience. Here’s a quick look at the Memphis metro workforce in November 2011 (latest non-preliminary data available):

  • Civilian Labor Force - 625,230
  • Total Employment - 563.089
  • Unemployed - 62,141
  • Unemployment Rate - 9.9%

To learn more about the Memphis regional workforce,visit the Greater Memphis Chamber's website.

Employment by Industry

  Estimate Percent
Civilian employed population 16 years and over 3158  
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining 15 0.5
Construction 153 4.8
Manufacturing 450 14.2
Wholesale trade 136 4.3
Retail trade 339 10.7
Transportation and warehousing, and utilities 293 9.3
Information 60 1.9
Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing 232 7.3
Professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services 305 9.7
Educational services, and health care and social assistance 620 19.6
Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services 207 6.6
Other services, except public administration 104 3.3
Public administration 244 7.7

Data compiled: 5/25/2012
Source:American Fact Finder