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August 18, 2015

There’s a (big) new dollar figure for health care’s impact on Nashville

There’s a (big) new dollar figure for health care’s impact on Nashville

Eleanor Kennedy | Nashville Business Journal

You probably know that health care is a big deal in Nashville. But have you ever wondered just how big a deal it is?

The answer? A nearly $40 billion deal.

That’s according to the Nashville Health Care Council’s latest economic impact study, completed in partnership with the Business and Economic Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University, released Tuesday morning. It’s proof that while “country music” might be what most people think of when they first hear of Nashville, health care is the real economic engine powering Music City.

It’s the first time the NHCC has checked in on the impact of health care in five years, and in that time the industry’s total economic contribution has grown 32.9 percent to $38.8 billion. That includes direct, indirect and induced business revenues connected to health care businesses.

The importance of the health care industry to the Middle Tennessee region cannot be overstated, and this study proves what a tremendous impact the industry is having not only on a local level, but across the country and even across the world, Mayor Karl Dean said in a news release accompanying the study. Our health care community has grown throughout the recent economic slowdown, and thanks to the $38.8 billion impact to our local economy, Nashville has been able to grow, too.

The NHCC is holding an event Tuesday to unveil the study’s results, and I’ll share more detail from that event later today and from the (nearly 100-page) report in our print edition this Friday.

For now, here are a few highlights from the report that stuck out to me in my first read:

  • “Nashville’s core health care sector employed just over 105,000 people in 2014, up almost 17 percent from 2008.”
  • “Health care occupations account for about 9 percent of total occupations in the Nashville MSA. Overall, the average wage for health care occupations at $66,950 is significantly higher than Nashville’s average annual wage of $47,984.”
  • “More than 75 percent of core health care spending goes to individuals as either payroll or proprietary income in the Nashville MSA. Real estate, pharmaceuticals, employment services, wholesale trade and securities investment are the top five sectors that benefit most from the business expenditures of core health care establishments in Nashville.”
  • “For every 1,000 jobs in the Nashville health care industry cluster, an additional 134 jobs are created in the accommodation industry, 126 in administrative, 114 in retail trade, 112 in finance and insurance, 112 in other services, 95 in real estate and rental, and 73 in professional services.”
  • “Every $1,000 in business revenue generated by the health care industry cluster generates additional revenue of $170 in real estate, $102 in finance, $51 in information, and $49 in professional services.

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