In 2008, dozens of companies expanded or launched new projects in East Tennessee, but this left the western half of the state with higher than respectable unemployment rates. According to experts though, the employment shift is just a phase of the recession.
Shelbyville, in Middle Tennessee, is also experiencing the crunch with the loss of a Sharpie manufacturing center.
The city, dubbed "Sharpieville" because of its Sharpie pen manufacturing plant, will lose 300 jobs when the plant is moved to Maryville to improve efficiency.
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development reported that 15,432 new projects and expansions were announced in 2008, bringing more than $3.7 billion capital investment to the state.
The majority of the employment opportunities were in East Tennessee, where some 41 projects and expansions were predicted to create at least 5,939 jobs.
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