Chattanooga job growth lags as racial gap in income persists, study shows

Despite new industry, black household income is only half of white levels

A view of downtown Chattanooga is seen from the Tower atop the Electric Power Building at the corner of Martin Luther King Blvd. and Market Street. Some of the landmarks include, the James Buidling, the Chattanooga Bank Buidling, First Tennessee, and Sun Trust.

Your chances of success in Chattanooga and Hamilton County is significantly different based upon the color of your skin.

For all the success in recruiting three of the biggest business investments in Tennessee over the past decade, Chattanooga's job growth is slowing while major racial disparities remain in Chattanoogans' incomes, according to data compiled for a new economic vision being shaped by a coalition of business, civic and government groups.

Job growth in Hamilton County trailed other comparable mid-sized cities over the past five years and even grew more slowly that the rest of Tennessee and the U.S. as a whole, consultants told the Chattanooga City Council on Tuesday. And while the economic recovery is approaching its longest sustained period in modern history, the racial gap in household earnings in Hamilton County remains 30 percent greater than in the country as a whole, with the typical white household in Chattanooga earning twice as much as the average black household.