Several recent reports and economists have ranked Nashville’s economy among the 20 strongest in the nation. Metro Monitor, a Washington-based policy which tracks economic conditions in the 100 largest cities on a quarterly basis recently conducted a report for the second quarter of 2011. The report came out ranking Nashville and Austin, TX as among the 20 strongest economies across the 100 ranked cities.
The report notes that the cities benefited from stronger growth in jobs and economic output since the Great Recession. Close cities Atlanta; Birmingham, AL and Charlotte, N.C. were in the report’s second-weakest rankings tier. The report is positive because it offers Nashville its own areas for improvement and ways to learn from those cities doing better, or not as well.
“We’re constantly looking at other cities to see if they’re doing something well and how we can emulate that here,” said Ralph Schulz, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive.
Many similarities are drawn between the two capitols of Nashville and Austin, TX: both have made big advances in growth industries, technology and healthcare for Austin and Nashville, respectively. Both are home to major universities which allow for a better-educated workforce. Austin, however, does a better job at retaining its college graduates, an area that Nashville could learn more about and improve on.
Overall, the report offers insight into ways to improve the city and learn from peers. But with a ranking in the top 20 of the nation, it seems the city has a history of learning and improving itself, which will allow it to continue advancing up the list.