Why Is Nashville Maintaining Its Rapid and Awesome Job Growth?

Posted April 2, 2018

A 2017 report from Forbes said Nashville has been the No. 1 city in the United States for high-wage job growth since 2011.

But the Tennessee town isn't just exploding with jobs for top earners. The city has been growing steadily for the better part of a decade, making Nashville one of the 'It' cities to work in right now. U.S. Census Bureau data recently showed the city's population growing at a rate of about 100 people per day.

Many experts credit the explosive growth to Nashville’s pro-business regulatory environment and lower taxes. However, Nashville's current success goes deeper than that.

A business tradition

Nashville's business boom didn't just materialize out of thin air. The city has a long tradition of being a center for many different industries, including the auto industry and of course, country music.

Country music may not generate a lot of good-paying jobs, but it has given the city international name recognition it may not have otherwise. It is also a massive source of tourism dollars for the city.

Nashville's auto manufacturing doesn't have anywhere near the star power of its music industry, but it remains as an employment stronghold in the region. The current upward momentum of the auto industry is still vital, but observers are now seeing other Nashville industries grow as the auto industry begins to slow.

Business ecosystem of the future

Nashville's more traditional industries may have laid the groundwork for the current boom, but it's digital industries are taking the city to new and exciting places.

Nashville's economy is maturing and its tech-based industries are coming into their own. The result is an increasingly deep and broad tech sector that includes digital media, software development and tech manufacturing.

Experts say they expect to see Nashville's digital boom continue, with the next phase of development involving the integration of digital technologies and entrepreneurship into other industries like healthcare.

A tight local labor market has also been driving wage growth in Nashville. One recent report showed a 36 percent growth in average wages from 2010 to 2015.

The real estate boom

This digital and employment growth is in turn spurring brick-and-mortar growth. In 2017, Nashville saw its biggest year for the completed construction of tall buildings, the number of projects under construction and announcements for upcoming real estate developments.

Many say the good times will keep rolling in 2018 with numerous high-profile developments currently under construction. For instance, there are more than 50 hotel projects in Nashville right now that are either under construction or planned for construction, with 16 slated to open in 2018.

As the construction boom continues, it will likely ripple out from the core of the city. Many urban neighborhoods have already been revitalized in recent years and other neighborhoods within a 5- to 10-mile radius of downtown are now seeing serious growth and redevelopment.

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