Tennessee was predominantly agricultural as late as 1940. During the second half of the 20th century the growth of manufacturing has been rapid, encouraged by low-cost power provided by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), improved transportation facilities, and nearby markets. In 1996 manufacturing was the leading contributor to the state gross product, followed by services and trade.
Tennessee had a work force of 2,846,000 in 2008. The largest share of those employed, 33 percent, worked in service industries such as those catering to tourists. Another 19 percent were employed in wholesale or retail trade; 13 percent in manufacturing; 15 percent in federal, state, or local government, including those serving in the military; 17 percent in finance, insurance, or real estate; 5 percent in construction; 22 percent in transportation or public utilities; 3 percent in farming (including agricultural services) or forestry; and a fraction of 1 percent in mining. In 2007, 5 percent of Tennessee’s workers were unionize. "Tennessee" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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