Weekly Update

weekly update header

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Bookmark and Share



I’ve written in this space many times about the strength of the Memphis economy. As it stands today, both our employment and tourism numbers are outpacing the national average, and as noted earlier this week by the Greater Memphis Chamber, we had an all-time record for jobs in the greater Memphis area this past June.


As you can see in the chart below, we have exceeded our prepandemic employment numbers.



*Courtesy of the Greater Memphis Chamber


The chart below gives a further breakdown of job recovery and growth by industry:


jobs 2

*Courtesy of the Greater Memphis Chamber


All that to say, our economy continues to see strong growth. Our economic development team members (State of Tennessee, Greater Memphis Chamber, EDGE, MLGW, TVA, Shelby County Government, and City of Memphis) are working well together, and I’m excited about what the future holds for our city.


Our population is growing: Years ago, I wrote that population loss has been our number one challenge (“people voting with their taillights.”). For decades, massive annexations masked the losses from Census counts.  For instance, 120,000 moved out of Memphis between 1980 and 2010. Follow this link for more on this


But the good news is that we are now growing.


As you may recall, the 2020 Census count showed Memphis losing over 13,000 people since 2010. The Census count was wrong. The gains we have seen in investments in Memphis, especially in the core city, over the last few years tell a different story.


Because of the importance of accurate Census information and the number of irregularities we saw play out during the 2020 Census process, I asked our staff in the Division of Planning and Development to take a closer look at our most recent count.


The Census bureau allows communities to challenge counts in two ways—a boundary challenge and a housing count challenge. Both of these affect population. We found enough evidence in both cases to challenge their findings.


In all, the evidence our team found proves the Census undercounted our population by at least 15,895 Memphians. This means we gained population between 2010 and 2020—the first time in over 50 years!.


Earlier this year, a Census report showed Tennessee among the most undercounted states in the U.S. at 4.78 percent. After the 2010 Census, the Census Bureau acknowledged undercounting Memphis by 1.42 percent. Our estimated undercount is 2.45 percent during the same time period.


As we move forward with this challenge to the 2020 Census count, we will keep you in the loop. Stay tuned!


Momentum once more: Although we certainly have challenges, considering the job and population growth, Memphis has recaptured the momentum we had before the pandemic.


A hero among us: Until faced with an emergency situation calling for quick, decisive action, most of us don’t know how we would respond. Recently, Mario Lewis, a long-time City employee, was faced with one of these life or death situations.


One morning this past June, Mr. Lewis was on his way to work when he rescued two victims from a burning car. He didn’t know these individuals, but he knew he had to do something. Mr. Lewis selflessly jumped into action to save their lives, and his bravery is an inspiration to us all.




Mr. Lewis, Memphis is lucky to have people like you, and we cannot thank you enough for your service to the city—on and off the job.


Enjoy your weekend!




Mayor's signature