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Business

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN


Monday was one of the busiest days of the year for the online retailer Amazon. The company says on Cyber Monday, hundreds of people place orders every second. And in Tennessee, this massive production depends on thousands of seasonal workers the company has hired across the state.

Daniel Dubois / courtesy Vanderbilt via Flickr

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has cut a deal with Cigna to keep seeing Obamacare patients in Middle Tennessee. The region's largest hospital was just weeks from being out-of-network for Nashville-area residents who buy health insurance on the federal marketplace.

Blake Farmer / WPLN (File photo)

The rapid pace of home sales in Middle Tennessee is continuing to keep prices high — a median of $280,000 in September. Outlying counties have seen some of the biggest bumps, according to quarterly figures from the Greater Nashville Realtors.

Emily Siner / WPLN

For people in Nashville who keep Kosher, following Jewish dietary laws, there's almost nowhere to dine out. One of the only Kosher-certified establishments was Woodlands, an Indian restaurant on West End — and that closed earlier this year.

But now another business has decided to go through the extensive process: Avo, a vegan restaurant housed in an old shipping container off of Charlotte Avenue.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Electronics giant Philips is planning to bring 800 jobs to the Nashville area focused on health care technology. The company makes medical imaging equipment found in most hospitals like x-rays and MRI machines.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

For all the tourism records being set in Nashville, there is one area that's lagging behind: The number of large conventions coming to town this fall is lower than in previous years, and tourism leaders say the city's high hotel demand bears part of the blame.

Chas Sisk / WPLN

It took years of courting, a pitch from the Kings of Leon and the promise of economic incentives to lure nonstop flights from London back to Nashville.

But two decades after direct-to-London service stopped, executives at British Airways are confident this time it can succeed.

Nashville last had nonstop service to London in the mid-1990s. But back then, the goal was to ferry passengers across the Atlantic from several different originations, and the flights were discontinued when American Airlines closed its Nashville hub.

Mark Margolis / Rainbow Symphony

The total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 is expected to be an attraction for cities along its path, including Nashville. Hotels from Hopkinsville to Murfreesboro are even advertising special eclipse vacation packages to attract the out-of-towners.  

But given it’s been nearly four decades since a similar event in the U.S. — and even longer in Nashville — the city's tourism officials say it’s hard to predict just how much of a boost the city will see.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Tennessee's unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in at least four decades — just 3.6 percent — and other measures of the state's jobs market are also looking stronger.

Gov. Bill Haslam announced Thursday that the share of Tennesseans who want jobs but can't find them has reached its lowest point since the state began keeping records in 1976. The unemployment rate has also dipped nearly a percentage point below the national figure, which stands at 4.4 percent.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

Tennessee's unemployment rate has approached a low-water mark — 4 percent — and the market for jobs appears to be strong statewide.

In a major reversal from a few years ago, only one of Tennessee's 95 counties has an unemployment rate higher than 5 percent: Rhea County on the Cumberland Plateau in East Tennessee. In the Nashville metropolitan area, unemployment stands at just 2.1 percent, one of the lowest rates among big cities in the nation.

That stands in stark contrast to the worst part of the recession in 2009, when unemployment peaked at more than 10 percent statewide and, in some corners of Tennessee, topped 20 percent.

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