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Report reveals Nashvillians are economically squeezed in unprecedented ways

Posted at 7:25 AM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 08:25:38-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — A new report reveals Nashvillians are economically squeezed in unprecedented ways, stating the average resident is worse off this year compared to last year.

The new report comes from Metro Social Services data team in hopes to find out the social and economic well-being of Nashville Davidson County residents and families.

The 36-page “Community Needs Evaluation” report revealed:

  • Housing costs are up 20% in the past 12 months  
  • Gasoline costs are up 68% in the past 12 months  
  • Child care costs are up 41% in the past 12 months  
  • Wages are only up 3% in the past 12 months  
  • Average Nashvillians are effectively 10 to 20% worse off in 2022 than in 2021 

*Source: Greater Nashville Realtors; AAA; US Census Quarterly Workforce Indicator 

Some of the results are eye opening, but the goal of the report is to help inform current and future policies and programs.

For example, 211,789 workers in Davidson County earn less than $39,000 a year.

The report showed better education for students will not eliminate or reduce poverty-wage occupations in Nashville.

Also, people moving here from California, New York and elsewhere do not come here for poverty-wage jobs and the industries here are highly dependent on paying low wages.

This means all Nashvillians are paying the price, because those jobs typically lack health care, savings, short work commutes, child care options, and proper housing.

In fact, the report found single Black mothers are struggling the most to make it by — 49.4% are living in poverty. Single women with less than a high school degree are right behind them at 43.8%.

A lot of work needs to be done and Mayor John Cooper thinks we have a long way to go. He said he believes the budget passed by council will help address some of these issues.

Read the full report, here.