March 16, 2016

Nashville Business Journal
by Adam Sichko


Most of us are familiar with the fact that Williamson County is the region’s premier corporate address, the fastest-growing county in the state and one of the 20 wealthiest in the nation, based on its median annual household income of $91,000.

Now, for the first time ever, Williamson County is adding jobs at a faster clip than any other county in the nation.

That’s according to the latest batch of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The newly released numbers show that the county posted a 6.5 percent net gain in jobs from September 2014 to September 2015. The data was touted at a March 15 event hosted by Williamson Inc., the county’s combined chamber of commerce and economic development arm.

The data suggest the same correlation between population growth and job growth that a national site selector described to my colleague Scott Harrison for a recent story: “Companies today now go where the workers are. What guides the site selection process today is companies want to be where the talent is.”

The county is loaded with corporate names including Nissan North America, Community Health Systems Inc., Verizon, MetLife, Mars Petcare, Tractor Supply Co. and others. Recently, we’ve written about the parent company of Hardee’s moving its headquarters here, and just last month, contractor Lee Co. hired its 1,000th employee (as it plans to expand headquarters at Boyle Investment Co.’s Berry Farms development, south of Franklin).

Williamson County’s job growth (public and private-sector combined) happened more than three times as fast as the national average. Within the county, the largest growth occurred in the broadly defined sector of “professional and business services,” which would include a lot of the white-collar jobs found in the county.

The next-best results came from the county where Provo, Utah, is located, followed by Denton County, Texas, which is part of the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Also of note: The average weekly wage in Williamson County grew 5.2 percent during that same time — the 10th highest increase in the nation, and double the national average.

That amounts to a $54 boost to the average weekly wage in the county, which tied Williamson with its neighbor to the north, Davidson County, for the ninth-largest wage increase.