While jobs numbers show the rest of country has recovered from the recession, some data puts the Knoxville area still lagging behind.
The first three months of this year, Knoxville's Innovation Valley, the stretch between the city and Oak Ridge, announced 1,500 new jobs. But data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the area still hasn't completely bounced back from the recession seven years ago.
Earlier this month, the national economy reached a milestone. Statistics show the country as a whole has recovered the number of jobs lost during the economy.
When you look at that same data broken down for Knoxville, the numbers do not show a full recovery.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts out two sets of numbers. One asks people if they have a job and the other asks businesses.
The household survey shows 342,793 people said they were employed in the Knoxville Metropolitan Area in April of 2007. In April 2014, 336,504 people said they were employed, down about 2%.
When businesses were surveyed, the results showed employment growth by about a half a percentage point.
Dr. Bill Fox, director of the University of Tennessee Center for Business and Economic Research, said that proves to him that we don't have more people working but we do have more jobs.
"It's suggestive perhaps that we have a fair number of people who now have more than one job and that explains this growth," Dr. Fox said.
He added there are a number of factors that contribute to the slow recovery, including East Tennessee's lack of participation in the fastest growing sector of the economy: natural resources.
"Oil and fracking are growing really fast. If you go to North Dakota or Texas, you see much faster growth than the national average. Obviously, we don't have any of that here in Knoxville," he said.
Dr. Fox said Knoxville also has a strong link to the government sector with major employers such as the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. While the government losses weren't as great during the recession, the recovery has also been slow for the government sector.
"The recovery from the recession has been 100% from the private sector," he said.
Dr. Fox says the future is looking good. Overall he expects to see slow growth, about one percent employment per year over the next few years.