KNOVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knoxville just keeps growing as more and more businesses bring new jobs to East Tennessee and the Volunteer State.

The latest to arrive in Knoxville is global IT consulting company CGI, bringing an estimated 300 new jobs with it by 2026.

The growth in and around Knoxville cannot be overlooked. New housing developments going up everywhere and businesses choosing to make Knoxville home. So, what makes Knoxville so attractive?

“They obviously looked at a number of factors in making the decision, but I would say the main driver was the innovation ecosystem they identified,” Matt Kittrell of CGI said. “It’s that’s really represented by what everyone around here refers to as the big three; ORNL, TVA and the University of Tennessee.”

Local businesses are also contributing to the increase in jobs and paying livable wages.

“You look at Axle Logistics, they literally start new employees every week and their average salary is at six figures. The people that have those jobs, they’re buying cars, they’re renting apartments, buying homes, they’re eating at restaurants and buying clothes,” Mike Cohen of Cohen Communications said. “All of the businesses in the community benefit when our economy grows. job growth is important and it drives everything.”

The growth isn’t the going unnoticed, overall employment growth in Knoxville is on the rise.

“Total employment is up 4% from last year, 3.8% to be exact, best that we can tell. That’s about 16,400 jobs that have come to Knoxville in the last 12 months,” Matt Harris an Associate Professor for the UT Boyd Center of Business and Economic Research said. “The fastest sectors where we are seeing growth are in professional and business services but also in education and health services, but lots of other good sectoral growth in other areas too.”

According to the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) report from the United Way, a family of four in 2021 would need to have an income of $57,240 for a survival budget. That same family in 2023 would need to make $65,000 to not be in financial distress and a single adult would need to make $31,000.

The current average income for someone living in Knoxville is around $50,000. CGI said that their average pay is higher than that in Knoxville and is competitive with the national average.