The Ten Largest Employers in Nashville



In the past couple of years, Nashville has been ranked on many "top" lists from Small Business Friendliness to Best Cities for Young Workers. This May, Forbes ranked Nashville number 4 behind San Francisco, San Jose, and Orlando in the nation for job growth. Employment within metro Nashville has increased 20% since 2009 and the city's economy has consequently passed the $100 billion mark. Let's see which companies are leading the pack for employment in the Music City.

1. Vanderbilt University & Medical Center (22,105) 

  • VUMC tops off the list with a staggering 22,105 employees in addition to its 12,605 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs. The behemoth owns 392 buildings on 330 acres throughout Middle Tennessee for a real estate portfolio of 21. 2 million square feet (that's 372 football fields worth of space).

2. Nissan North America (10,050)

  • Nissan announced it's corporate relocation to the Cool Springs suburb of Nashville in 2005 and now occupies over 880 acres and 6.5 million square feet. Janet Miller, then head of Economic Development at the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, hailed Nissan's arrival as "probably one of the most important milestones [the Chamber] ever accomplished."

3. HCA Holdings Inc. (7,000)

  • Founded in Nashville, The Hospital Corporation of America is one of the largest for-profit healthcare providers in the world, managing 165 hospitals, 115 surgery centers, and currently constructing its new 330,000 square foot headquarters at Capitol View on Charlotte Pike in the Gulch.

4. Saint Thomas Health Services (7,000)

  • Saint Thomas is another Nashville founded business still headquartered in the city. At 113 years old, Saint Thomas has grown to 9 hospitals/surgery centers in Nashville, 89 worldwide, and is a part of the largest not-for-profit health organization in the world.

5. Randstad (3,785)

  • Randstad is the second largest HR services provider in the world and places hundreds of thousands of workers in temporary or permanent jobs annually.

6. Electrolux Home Products (3,200)

  • This Swedish company sees 50% of its sales in the US and sells more than 60 million products to consumers annually.

7. Community Health Systems (3,092) 

  • CHS is a Fortune 500 company based in Franklin, Tennessee, with $18.6 billion in revenue. Unlike HCA, whose focus is in major metropolitan areas, CHS found its niche in rural hospitals and has 160 hospitals across the US.

8. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (3,012)

  • This Lebanon based restaurant opened in 1969 and now boasts over 630 company owned (not franchised) locations in 42 states. Cracker Barrel occupies nearly 7 million square feet with each store sitting on about 2.5 acres.

9. Shoney's (3,000) 

  • Another of Nashville's headquarters, this chain of 230 restaurants stretches across the southeastern US. Although the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000, it has continued to grow under the direction of David Davoudpour and is expanding into mall locations with full bars.

10. The Kroger Company (2,554) 

  • Having recently acquired Harris Teeter, Kroger has expanded to 17+ locations in the Greater Nashville Area. Kroger is one of the biggest grocery stores in the United States and occupies over 200 million square feet of retail space.