The number of workers in downtown Nashville grew by 25 percent in three years, according to a recent business census.

In 2015, nearly 57,230 people worked in downtown Nashville. According to a report by Nashville Downtown Partnership, there are now 72,000.

“Not surprising,” Hayley Hovious, President of the Nashville Health Care Council said. “I myself work downtown and so see that growth every day as I’m trying to get in and out of the city”

The census recorded a spike of 15,000 workers in three years. With more jobs on the way. “What's happening downtown and the energy in Nashville is not only bringing our big employers closer to the city, it's also bringing in companies from the outside.” Energy, Hovious said, led largely by the health care industry.

“I would say you can't think about Nashville’s economy without think about the health care industry because in no way could any growth have not been accelerated by the health care industry.”

The census accounts for Nashville’s central business district: Sobro, The Gulch, and a piece of Charlotte Avenue. It names HCA the largest private employer downtown.

“The health care industry employs about 270,000 people,” Hovious said of the entire Middle Tennessee footprint. “That's up in the last three years actually from when we did our last data from 250,000.”

“In a lot of ways Nashville grew like Silicon Valley with all of the reinvestment and mentorship that's happened here over time.”

Bridgestone Americas and UBS follow HCA as downtown’s largest private-sector employers.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Rebecca Cardenas is a Murrow-award winning journalist who joined News4 as a reporter in September 2017. She currently covers the court systems in Middle Tennessee.

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