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Checking the Pulse of Middle Tennessee’s Employment and Economic Outlook

Wow – time sure does fly!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since we last got a pulse on how the Nashville metro area is doing from an employment and economic perspective. A lot can change in a year’s time, so let’s take a look at the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the Nashville / Davidson / Murfreesboro / Franklin Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).

So how is our local economy doing?

New data was just released in February 2017; here are the most recent numbers:

  • The unemployment rate in the Nashville area is still tracking below the national average – and once again, we’re lower than where we were last year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ February 01, 2017 Nashville Area Economic Summary, the Nashville area’s unemployment rate is at 3.8% – lower than the national rate (4.5%), and nearly half a percent lower than our rate this time last year (4.2%).
  • Of all the counties in our MSA, Williamson’s unemployment rate is still the lowest, coming in at 3.5%.
  • Total nonfarm employment continues on a 4-year upward trajectory, rising 2.6% in the Nashville area over the same time last year. Once again, mining, logging and construction employment showed the biggest increase, making a double-digit gain (14.3%) from the same time last year. Manufacturing employment growth has also been impressive, up 6.3% over the last 12 months.
  • Average hourly wages in the Nashville area ($21.49) are still tracking below the national average (23.23), although they have increased slightly over the past year (rising from $21.13 to $21.49).

Thankfully, the Nashville local economy is continuing to improve, adding new jobs each month.

Whether or not that trend will continue under the Trump administration is anyone’s guess. For the short-term, however, already-tight labor markets will make recruiting extremely challenging. Employers that pay higher wages, proactively recruit passive candidates and build a strong employment brand will win the war for talent.

Want comprehensive Nashville employment and economic statistics?

Follow these links:

Nashville Area Economic Summary

Nashville Economy at a Glance

Or, just give Wood Personnel a call. Our Middle TN staffing services will help you attract the best candidates, keep your workforce flexible, and allow you to capitalize on new business opportunities – no matter what our local economy throws your way.