KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Feeling stressed out these days? You’re not alone.
A recent national survey ranks Tennessee the ninth most stressed state in the country – when taking into account family, health, work and money considerations. However, the analysis by research firm WalletHub ranks the state fifth when it comes to money-related stress.
Bill Fox, director of the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee, said there’s good reason for that.
“This is a state that over many recent decades has been very oriented towards manufacturing and to some extent towards construction,” he said, “and one of the outcomes of the Great Recession has been an overall loss in employment in those two industries.”
Fox said programs such as Tennessee Promise, which focuses on helping rising college students and adults obtain skills that increase their earning potential, are one way to increase income and job opportunity. In the past five years, he said, Tennessee has outpaced the nation in terms of growth of employment.
Fox said the Volunteer State’s per capita income is 15 percent below the national average, underlining the importance of increasing the number of well-paying jobs for people and employers.
“As you think about investing in the state’s people and therefore its workforce, that really is intended to make sure the workers are more productive,” he said, “and so both the workforce wins and the employer wins in terms of the greater productivity that will come from the enhanced training. ”
The state also made the top 10 list when it comes to health- and safety-related stress, while it ranked 18th for family-related stress. Alabama ranked first for stress overall, and Minnesota came in as the least-stressed state.
The WalletHub story is online at wallethub.com.
Stephanie Carson Tennessee News Service