Nashville area sees net increase in jobs

Nashville area sees net increase in jobs (Image 1)

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce said Tuesday the job outlook for Nashville isn't as gloomy as it may appear.

Hundreds of Nashville businessmen and women heard the top researcher for the chamber detail economic factors in Nashville compared to the rest of the country.

“Our net increase in jobs in this very challenging year approaches 1% while the nation, month after month, continues to lose jobs,” Dr. Garrett Harper told chamber is his economic report about the 13-county Nashville area.

He cited Nashville's diverse economy as one of the factors for the slight job surge.

Dr. Garrett said diversity is represented by Nashville being a center for healthcare, tourism and education.

He said with healthcare adding jobs in Middle Tennessee, it helps offsets job losses in areas like construction or manufacturing.

Chamber development director Janet Miller said jobs are being added with more than 30 companies either relocating or thinking about relocating to the Nashville area.

“We are feeling positive, that again if you are going to be somewhere Nashville is the place to be,” she told the gathering.

Dean Chase heard the relative good job news from the chamber, but the construction firm he started in the mid-1980s represents the other side of the equation.

Construction has lost jobs nationwide and his Nashville company is no different.

“It's tough,” Chase said.  “You have people that have been with you a long time, when the work is not there you cannot provide the jobs.”

He said he has laid off 20% of his 100 person workforce.

He said familiar Nashville places like Gaylord Opryland, Beaman Automotive and the airport have delayed projects his company would have built.

“It's the biggest challenge we have this year, to really hunt and scratch and go where the work is and try and stay in business,” Chase added.

His firm has survived lean times before.

He said the housing market must “come back first” and then the rest will follow.

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