Tampa Bay economy feeling the pinch

10/02/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday | Listen to this entire show:

A new economic scorecard of how the Tampa Bay region compares to several other communities in the South shows that job creation has slowed by more than half in the area, and the nationwide housing slowdown is hitting the Tampa Bay area hard.

The scorecard is the fourth one compiled in the past two years by the Tampa Bay Partnership.

The scorecard compares Tampa Bay to five other regions: Dallas, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham. But the report isn't all gloomy; the area did make some gains in income and innovation.

But compared to the other five regions, the Tampa Bay area job’s growth has dropped significantly, from being labeled the tops 2 years ago, to the worst now.

Wages in Florida have always been considered to be below the rest of the nation. And among the regions being studied, the Tampa Bay Area continues to have the lowest average absolute wage, at $38,720. Yhr Tampa region is only about $500 less than Jacksonville, but nearly $10,000 below Dallas.

With housing mired in one of its worst slumps in years nationally, the Tampa Bay Area is feeling the effects of plunging home construction, sagging prices and foreclosures at a record level.

Larry Henson of the Tampa Bay Partnership said there are indications the Tampa Bay Area will pull out of the housing slump quicker than many other regions of the country.

The next report is scheduled to be released in six months. To review the report, go to Tampa Bay Partnership.

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