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The Chattanooga area experienced a jump of 2,900 jobs in the past year, outpacing Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis, figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show.

The Knoxville metropolitan statistical area had an increase of 2,100 jobs from September 2009 to last month, according to federal nonfarm employment numbers. Nashville and Memphis had job losses over the past year, the data show.

Still, the BLS, which measures job losses or gains, shows a drop of 20,100 jobs from September 2007 to last month in the Chattanooga area as a result of the worst recession since the Great Depression. The Chattanooga MSA includes Hamilton, Sequatchie and Marion counties in Tennessee and Dade, Catoosa and Walker counties in Georgia.

The Memphis area had a loss of 56,400 jobs in the period, while the Nashville MSA job losses hit 55,200, according to the BLS.

Knoxville's MSA job loss in the period was 15,800, while Cleveland, Tenn., was down 1,700. Tri-Cities was off 6,500 jobs, BLS figures show. The Dalton, Ga., MSA's loss was 13,800.

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce's $9.5 million job growth plan, which ends a four-year run in mid-2011, shows 12,953 jobs were created in Hamilton County from mid-2007 to date.

The Chamber helped in creating 4,566 of those, according to the business group.

Tom Edd Wilson, the Chamber's chief executive, said some people doubted the area could woo new plants by Volkswagen and Alstom and other investment.

"We've positioned Chattanooga for future growth," he said.

J.Ed. Marston, the Chamber's vice president of marketing, added that the current economic development plan more than tripled its private capital investment goal of $500 million by attracting $1.5 billion. Average wages of the jobs the Chamber assisted in creating was $51,722, he said.

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