Tennessee Business & Employment Growth Since 2009

  • 20,974 more businesses
  • 412,665 more employees
  • 16.1% increase in total wages
  • $10,193 increase in annual wages per employee
  • 25.3% increase in wages per employee

Since 2009, the number of businesses in Tennessee has grown by 14.9% (3.5% greater than the national average of 11.4%). Employment in Tennessee has grown by 16.1% (2.5% greater than the national average of 13.6%). Wages have grown by 25.3% since the end of the Great Recession. This wage growth is 0.4% less than the national average of 25.7%.
The average weekly wage in Tennessee of $970 is 13.5% below the national average of $1,101. The gap between the national average has widened from 13.2% a widening of 0.3% since the end of the recession.

Sector Growth

Business Sector Growth

The Retail trade sector has the most businesses in the state of Tennessee. Since the end of the recession, the number of businesses has grown from 21,182 to 22,413, a gain of 5.8%. The table below illustrates the change in number of businesses in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Retail trade22,41321,1825.8%
Professional services18,53714,59627.0%
Other services15,49511,79631.4%
Healthcare14,37512,94411.1%
Accommodation and food services13,45410,42729.0%
Wholesale trade12,89612,4863.3%
Construction12,12512,289-1.3%
Finance and insurance9,8188,69512.9%
Waste services9,5777,85721.9%
Manufacturing7,0516,9561.4%
Real estate and rental5,8895,30810.9%
Transport and warehousing4,5854,2019.1%
Information3,5232,56537.3%
Arts and entertainment2,9932,37626.0%
Educational services1,7571,19746.8%
Company management1,42480576.9%
Agriculture and forestry88976216.7%
Mining and oil extraction211213-0.9%
Utilities1671604.4%

The sector that has had the strongest growth [in number of businesses] is the Professional services sector, which has increased by 27.0% since 2009. The sector that has has the largest decline is the Construction sector, which has declined by 1.3% since the recession.

Employment Sector Growth

The Healthcare sector has the most employees in the state of Tennessee. Since the end of the recession, the number of employees has grown from 317,601 to 371,876, a gain of 17.1%. The table below illustrates the change in number of employees in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Healthcare371,876317,60117.1%
Manufacturing351,065309,36913.5%
Retail trade337,083306,8359.9%
Accommodation and food services298,217233,51627.7%
Waste services225,972161,02140.3%
Transport and warehousing163,391124,02031.7%
Professional services140,642107,33931.0%
Construction124,539105,80717.7%
Wholesale trade119,643121,059-1.2%
Finance and insurance110,530105,1195.1%
Other services78,72968,83014.4%
Company management50,77526,11294.5%
Educational services49,39638,09129.7%
Information44,86646,653-3.8%
Real estate and rental40,61833,12822.6%
Arts and entertainment39,61429,90932.4%
Agriculture and forestry7,5167,2953.0%
Utilities3,5413,555-0.4%
Mining and oil extraction3,5093,2368.4%

The sector that has had the strongest employment growth [in number of employees] is the Waste services sector, which has increased by 40.3% since 2009. The sector that has has the largest employment decline in number of employees is the Information sector, which has declined by 3.8% since the recession.

Weekly Wage Growth By Sector

The Company management sector has the highest average weekly wage in the state of Tennessee. Since the end of the recession, the average wage has grown from $1,400 to $2,091, a gain of 49.4%. The table below illustrates the change in weekly wage in each sector.
Sector20182009Pct Chg
Company management$2,091$1,4000.0%
Finance and insurance$1,656$1,2100.0%
Professional services$1,540$1,1900.0%
Utilities$1,467$1,1700.0%
Information$1,419$1,0060.0%
Wholesale trade$1,395$1,0710.0%
Mining and oil extraction$1,394$1,0970.0%
Manufacturing$1,144$9350.0%
Construction$1,096$8280.0%
Transport and warehousing$1,075$8700.0%
Arts and entertainment$1,029$6880.0%
Healthcare$1,015$8510.0%
Real estate and rental$983$7130.0%
Educational services$896$7700.0%
Waste services$697$5950.0%
Other services$676$5310.0%
Agriculture and forestry$668$5030.0%
Retail trade$610$5010.0%
Accommodation and food services$376$2990.0%

The sector that has had the strongest wage growth is the Unclassified sector, which has increased by 0.0% since 2009. The sector that has has the smallest wage growth is the Accommodation and food services sector, which has declined by 0.0% since the recession.


Industry Growth

Business Industry Growth

The Restaurants and other eating places industry has the greatest number of businesses in the state of Tennessee. This industry currently has 10,748 businesses in it. There is no direct comparison to the total at the end of recession and is not included in the table below.

Industry20182009Pct Chg
Private households6,8413,6890.0%
Computer systems design and related services4,1992,3820.0%
Offices of physicians4,0594,2040.0%
Management consulting services3,3712,2930.0%
Gasoline stations with convenience stores3,2392,9980.0%
Insurance agencies and brokerages2,6922,4280.0%

The top industry that has had the largest increase in the number of businesses is the Private households industry, which has increased by 0.0% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest decline in the number of businesses is the Offices of physicians industry, which has declined by 0.0% since the recession.

Employment Industry Growth

The Restaurants and other eating places industry has the greatest number of employees in the state of Tennessee. This industry currently has 243,911 employees in it. There is no direct comparison back to the total at the end of the recession and is not included in the table below.

Industry20182009Pct Chg
General medical and surgical hospitals103,27481,6480.0%
Temporary help services93,11351,8670.0%
Offices of physicians65,57755,3640.0%
Management of companies and enterprises50,77526,1120.0%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores48,17644,3160.0%
General freight trucking long-distance43,24838,6100.0%

The top industry that has had the largest increase in the number of employees is the Temporary help services industry, which has increased by 0.0% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest decline in the number of employees is the Supermarkets and other grocery stores industry, which has declined by 0.0% since the recession.

Weekly Wage Growth By Industry

The Cable and other subscription programming industry has the highest average weekly wage in the state of Tennessee. Since the end of the recession, the average wage has grown from $1,622 to $6,246, a gain of 285.1%. The table below illustrates the change in weekly wage in each sector.
Industry20182009Pct Chg
Cable and other subscription programming$6,246$1,6220.0%
Portfolio management$5,063$7,7120.0%
Spectator sports$4,852$2,9800.0%
Animal food manufacturing$3,422$1,7220.0%
Miscellaneous intermediation$3,340$1,8670.0%
Musical groups and artists$3,135$1,5010.0%

The top industry that has had the strongest wage growth is the Cable and other subscription programming industry, which has increased by 0.0% since 2009. The top industry that has has the largest wage decline is the Portfolio management industry, which has declined by 0.0% since the recession.


Company Size

Business Growth By Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the number of businesses has been in businesses with 500 to 999 employees. The number of businesses with this number of employees has grown from 197 to 260, which is an increase of 32.0%.

The smallest percentage change in the number of businesses has been in businesses with 5 to 9 employees. The number of businesses with this number of employees has grown from 24,837 to 27,832, which is an increase of 12.1%.

Table: Change in the number of Businesses by Size of Business, since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees85,78574,92614.5%
5-9 Employees27,83224,83712.1%
10-19 Employees19,66716,91216.3%
20-49 Employees14,51311,29528.5%
50-99 Employees4,7003,94719.1%
100-249 Employees3,0132,48121.4%
250-499 Employees76462222.8%
500-999 Employees26019732.0%
More Than 1,000 Employees13411219.6%


Employment Growth by Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the number of employees has been in businesses with 500 to 999 employees. The number of employees in companies this size has grown from 134,683 to 175,249, which is an increase of 30.1%.

The smallest percentage change in the number of employees has been in businesses with fewer than 5 employees. The number of employees with this number of employees has grown from 130,020 to 145,371, which is an increase of 11.8%.

Table: Change in the number of Employees by Size of Business, since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees145,371130,02011.8%
5-9 Employees182,759163,41711.8%
10-19 Employees263,842226,80916.3%
20-49 Employees428,609334,78228.0%
50-99 Employees320,914269,89218.9%
100-249 Employees443,958365,50321.5%
250-499 Employees255,842214,45919.3%
500-999 Employees175,249134,68330.1%
More Than 1,000 Employees295,644251,33617.6%


Weekly Wage Growth by Company Size

The biggest percentage change in the average weekly wage has been in businesses with fewer than 5 employees. The average weekly wage in companies this size has grown from $707 to $996, which is an increase of 40.9%.

The smallest percentage change in the average weekly wage has been in businesses with 20 to 49 employees. The average weekly wage in companies this size has grown from $677 to $823, which is an increase of 21.6%.

Table: Change Average Weekly Wage by Size Since the Recession:

Company SizeQ1 2018Q1 2010% Change
Fewer than 5 Employees$996$70740.9%
5-9 Employees$809$62529.4%
10-19 Employees$819$63329.4%
20-49 Employees$823$67721.6%
50-99 Employees$901$69829.1%
100-249 Employees$961$76525.6%
250-499 Employees$1,010$81424.1%
500-999 Employees$1,163$92525.7%
More Than 1,000 Employees$1,515$1,09238.7%



Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.