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Nashville, Tennessee has the lowest unemployment rate in the US

The Nashville skyline
AP/Mark Humphrey
Nashville is a job seekers dreamland.
  • Dan Kopf
By Dan Kopf

Data editor

This article is more than 2 years old.

Nashville, Tennessee, is known as “Music City.” Now it can be known as “Job City” too.

According to the the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nashville, Tennessee, had the lowest unemployment rate—2.7%—of any metropolitan area in the US with over one million people as of February 2018. Nashville even beats out the metropolitan area of San Francisco, the US mecca of economic vitality.

RankMetropolitan areaUnemployment rate (%)
1Nashville, TN2.7
2San Francisco, CA2.9
3Austin, TX3
4San Jose, CA3
5Denver, CO3.1
6Milwaukee, WI3.2
7Salt Lake City, UT3.2
8Minneapolis, MN3.3
9Indianapolis, IN3.4
10Orlando, FL3.4

Like the US as a whole, Nashville’s unemployment rate has gone down steadily since the Great Recession. It’s just dropped even more. At the same time, Nashville’s job market is among the fastest-expanding metros in the country. The number of people with jobs or looking for jobs grew by almost 3% in 2017. The Nashville metropolitan area contains almost two million people.

What kinds of gigs are firing up Nashville’s economy? Over the last five years, white-collar jobs have boomed. The number of jobs in the finance sector grew from just over 50,000 in 2012 to about 67,000 today. Accounting and legal jobs have also jumped. Also, spurred by a thriving tourism industry, leisure and hospitality jobs have been growing at about 4% per year.

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