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Love Barbecue? Consider Living in Nashville or Memphis

While this probably might not come as a surprise to local Tennessee foodies, a recent survey from Travel + Leisure posted on CNN shared that Tennessee is at the top of the barbecue food chain in the U.S. The survey ranked Memphis barbecue No. 2 behind Nashville on a list of the top 10 best barbecue cities, giving a shout out to Central BBQ and the Bar-B-Q Shop as local favorites. Living in Memphis means access to delicious barbecue, such as ribs and pork sandwiches, which are the staples of Memphis-style barbecue: dry-rubbed and smoked over hickory, and often mopped with sauce while cooking.

To eat with the savviest locals, head to one of the branches of Central BBQ, which does a classic pork sandwich, pulled-pork nachos, and even a four-ounce barbecued bologna sandwich (the newest is downtown, next to the National Civil Rights Museum). Another favorite – especially with local chefs – is the Bar-B-Q Shop (“home of the Dancing Pigs BBQ sauce”), which claims to be the birthplace of another Memphis staple, sauce-coated barbecue spaghetti.

The To 10 Cities are as follows:

Nashville
Memphis
Kansas City
Houston
San Antonio
Charleston
Dallas-Fort Worth
Savannah
New Orleans

Home Sales Drop 17% in Memphis

Shelby County, which consists of several Tennessee cities including Memphis, experienced a drop in home sales in May compared to the same month last year and also from April. This data was compiled by the real estate information company called Chandler Reports, which also showed that Shelby County recorded 1,242 home sales in May, down 14 percent from 1,446 homes sold in May 2013, and the 1,242 homes sold in May were down 8.4 percent from the 1,356 homes sold in April. Year to date, overall home sales are down 5 percent but average sales prices are up 10 percent compared to the first five months of 2013. 23 ZIP codes in the county showed prices up 10 percent or more.

So what is causing the slack in sales? According to local experts, problems like low bank sales, low consumer confidence, low likelihood of full time employment and tougher lending rules have caused a stall in sales for a large amount of prospective buyers. Buying a home and moving to Memphis is still feasible for many, but a tightening of inventory levels is causing the prices to rise in the Shelby County area.

Start Your Business in Memphis

Thinking of starting a business, but not sure where to begin? Picking the right city to set up shop is definitely one of the top to-dos. According to the findings of a finance site, Memphis ranks as the 10th best option among places in the US to start your business. So why should you start your business in Memphis? One of the large determining factors for Memphis is that it has high commercial and industrial loans per capita. It also boasts a low-cost of living and there are a few start-up oriented companies in the city that help new businesses to get off of the ground.

However, it is not all good in terms of Memphis and new business launching. There is a slow population growth rate, as well as one of the highest per capita unemployment rates. Add one of the lowest per capita income averages and you’ve got an interesting mix of financial data for the city.

Memphis wasn’t the only location to make the list. Nashville came in at No. 5 with a total score of 65.83, compared to Memphis’ score of 60.54 and Oklahoma City’s top-of-the-list score of 73.01. Whether you want to move to Memphis or Nashville, either Tennessee location could be a great place for you to launch your new business.

400 Jobs Might Come to Memphis

The freight company ArcBest Corp. might acquire ABF Freight, according to BizJournals, in a move that would pull a part of ABF out of Arkansas and into Memphis. The move would mean that 420 jobs in the Arkansas facility would move to Memphis, according to current employees at the company. While no official decision has been made yet, the option has been discussed with employees and there is also a potential discussion to keep some jobs in Arkansas and move only some to Memphis. The company plans to retain a small number of employees, about 20 or so, in Little Rock to handle city deliveries, according to insider reports.

So what does this mean for the Memphis job market? Not much in terms of new positions opening up. The company, which will offer most of the positions to current employees, is expected to seek incentives shortly in Tennessee, Mississippi, or both before making a final decision at the end of June on its location, according to the employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

However, it is likely that the trucking terminal will be moved to Memphis, which would create some job opportunity, though the required amount of space doesn’t quite exist in the local industrial market.

Memphis in May Festival Seeks to Fill 40+ Jobs

While it is not a permanent solution for unemployment, it is certainly a temporary one. Memphis in May International Festivals is looking to fill more than 40 seasonal positions this spring. The jobs, which will run from the end of April through May, are for support staff for events that include Beale Street Music Festival, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and the AutoZone Sunset Symphony, among others. The economy here in Memphis is expected to improve throughout the year.

The unemployment rate in Shelby County remained at 8.4 percent in March, unchanged from February but down 1.3 points from the same month in 2013. State data showed that 35,190 people were unemployed in Shelby County in March.

Part of the stress of relocating to a new place, such as moving to Memphis, is finding a job. While these might not be jobs to stay at forever, they can be helpful in giving you steady work for a few months as you get settled. The events organized by Memphis in May International Festivals had an economic impact of more than $70 million in 2012, according to a release. Good luck in your application!

Memphis Air Fares Drop with Delta out of the Picture

Memphis International Airport has lost its status as a Delta hub, but it’s gaining a new reputation for lower air fares—which is much more appealing in the eyes of tourists and airport officials who are hoping for a boost in traffic. The airport’s average domestic fares fell to $434 in the fourth quarter of 2013 from $487 in the same quarter of 2012, according to a new U.S. Department of Transportation report. That’s a drop of about $50 per ticket on average. Moving to Memphis? You might want to consider flying over (at a now discounted rate!) to check out the city, find a place to live, and visit some of the local hot spots.

Compared to the other top 100 airports in the U.S., Memphis had the 14th highest fares – down from No. 7 in the fourth quarter of 2012. The lower ticket prices are apparently bumping up traffic originating from and coming to Memphis, the release said. Origin and destination traffic is up nearly 65,000 passengers in fiscal year 2014 over the same period of fiscal year 2013.

Memphis Sees Decline in Construction Jobs

The number of construction, mining and logging jobs in the Memphis area fell 3 percent to 19,400 in March from 19,900 in March 2013, the Associated General Contractors of America reported. Memphis was not the only Tennessee market to lose jobs—Chattanooga was the only other metro to report a drop in employment – a 3 percent decline, giving it the same rank nationally as Memphis. As far as actual jobs, the 3 percent gap equates to about 500 jobs, bringing the Memphis number of construction, logging, and mining jobs to 19,400.

Memphis’ job loss rate was the 289th worst of 339 U.S. metros – an improvement in the rankings from January. The rest of the state saw an average construction employment increase of 4 percent. Thinking of moving to Memphis and working in the construction industry? Now might be a tricky time to move and search for a job, but if you have work lined up it might be worth the relocation.

Unemployment Drops in Memphis

While the struggle for a steady economy has been a rough toad, the Greater Memphis area unemployment rate fell in January at a faster rate than in Tennessee or the U.S., according to a new report by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Metro Memphis’ unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent in January from 10 percent in January 2013, with 49,860 people looking for jobs out of a labor force of 590,720. The report has been a positive take on the local economy and shows continued growth in Memphis.

Thinking of moving to Memphis? The growing stability of the employment sector should make you feel more confident in making the relocation a reality. See you in Memphis!

Memphis Named as an Inexpensive American City

In a country of fluctuating mortgages, ping ponging list prices, and other real estate uncertainties, it’s nice to know some areas of the country are still extremely affordable. And even better, one of those places happens to be Memphis! The Memphis cost of living, according to CBS News, is as follows:

Average Rent: $709

Price of a home: $208,000

Can of coffee: $4.05

Dozen eggs: $1.62

While these are only a few factors, they help rank Memphis in the #4 spot in the Council for Community and Economic Research study. The study examined 308 urban areas throughout the country and came up with the list of the ten least expensive places to live.

Memphis to Gain Hourly Rental Cars

Zipcar is expanding to Memphis International Airport, a move that will open up the airport market to a trending service where customers can rent cars by the hour. Customers register online with their insurance information, then make a reservation online and use your Zipcard to scan into a vehicle for your temporary use.

The Memphis local movers have found that the rental rates for the cars offered by Zipcar are $9 an hour at the airport or $69 for the day. The airport rates are slightly higher than the prices for downtown Memphis and Rhodes College.

Memphis joins the locations of Zipcar which is in 26 cities and 30 airports around the world.