Census Bureau: Recession brings sharp loss of living standards to U.S., Tampa Bay region
Wake up and good morning. Tampa Bay households continue to suffer crushing hits to their incomes and standards of living thanks to a long and severe recession, U.S. Census Bureau figures out today indicate. Area county households have lost thousands in income since the recession hit in 2007. These figures show the more recent slide in median household income between 2009 and 2010, with some of the more rural area counties taking greater hits. (AP photo)
The bottom line? It will take years to repair the income damage and regenerate decent paying jobs to the area. The wild card is housing. Until home prices stabilize, housing will remain a major drag and instability to many in the area. Here's a helpful database from the Orlando Sentinel/Sun Sentinel if you want to look at individual county performances.
Some county and city highlights:
* Hillsborough County enjoyed the highest Tampa Bay area income ($46,117) but also suffered one of the higher levels of poverty (17%).
* Hernando County took the worst household income hit, down 9%, from 2009 to 2010. Among income losing counties, Sarasota County suffered the least hit to income (-1%).
* Pasco County bucked the regional income loss trend completely and reported a 3 percent gain.
* With Pasco gaining income and Pinellas losing income, notice how close the two counties (Pinellas' $42,616 and Pasco's $42,220) are becoming in household income. The difference is just $396.
* Sarasota County reported the lowest poverty rate (13%) followed by Pinellas and Manatee counties reported the lowest poverty rates (14%), while Polk suffered the highest (18%), followed by Hillsborough and Citrus (both at 17%).
Here's how the greater Tampa Bay area counties fared:
Shown by county, 2010 estimated income, % change from 2009, margin of error, % in poverty
Citrus: $35,459, -8%, $2,747, 17%
Hernando: $37,459, -9%, $2,448, 15%
Hillsborough: $46,117, -4%, $1,013, 17%
Manatee: $44,785, -3%, $3,008, 14%
Pasco: $42,220, +3%, $1,261, 15% (Congratulations, Pasco!)
Pinellas: $42,616, -3%, $1,216, 14%
Polk: $41,174, -3%, $1,242, 18%
Sarasota: $45,641, -1%, $1,818, 13%
Source: U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey
-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, St. Petersburg Times