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Robert Trigaux

Early '09: Tampa Bay job market may shrink



For the next several months, Tampa Bay's job market looks like it will be in shrink-mode. But just a bit.

Employment in the Tampa Bay metro area will decline slightly in the first quarter of 2009, says a new Manpower employment outlook survey. Still, the metro area’s decline of just 2 percent is stronger than 40 other metro area markets in the coming quarter. But it’s still bad enough to put the Tampa Bay market in a cluster of the 10 weakest job markets for the upcoming January-to-March quarter — a period when the recession officially starts its second year and a new president takes office in the White House. Manpower CEO Jeffrey A. Joerres said in general comments on his firm’s quarterly survey:

“A significant percentage — 67 percent — of employers plan to hold staff levels steady for the first quarter of 2009. This may suggest that a majority of employers are carefully monitoring the uncertain economic environment prior to making any additional employment decisions.”

Here's the specific outlook for the Tampa Bay market from Manpower spokesperson Judy Leppla:

“From January to March, 15 percent of the (Tampa Bay) companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 17 percent expect to reduce their payrolls. Another 63 percent expect to maintain their current staff levels and 4 percent are not certain of their hiring plans.”

For our metro area in the 2009 first quarter, job prospects appear best in transportation and utilities, information and education and health services, according to Manpower. Job cuts will be greatest in construction, financial activities, leisure and hospitality and government. Manufacturing and retail should remain mostly unchanged. Here's the outlook for 15 Florida metro markets.

So nationwide, who's hot and who's not in upcoming job growth? Look below.

Where the strongest job growth will be in 1Q 2009
Metro area                             Net job gain
1. Lafayette, La.                      +25%
2. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Tex. +21%
3. Houston-Bayland, Tex.          +20%
4. Amarillo, Tex.                       +18%
    Burlington, Vt.
5. Des Moines, Ia.                     +6%
6. New Orleans, La.                  +15%
    Tulsa, Okla.
    McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Tex.
    Brownsville-Harlingen, Tex.
7. Oklahoma City, Okla.            +14%
    Laredo, Tex.
8. Shreveport-Bossier City, La.   +13%
9. Rochester, NY                        +12%
    El Paso, Tex.
    Wichita, Kan.
10. Washington, DC                   +11%
      Anchorage, Alaska
      Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss.

Where the weakest job markets will be in 1Q 2009
Metro area                                 Net job decline
1. Barnstable Town, Mass.               -11%
2. Port St. Lucie, Fla.                      -10%
    Reno-Sparks, Nev.
    San Diego, Calif.
3. Flint, Mich.                                   -9%
4. Merced, Calif.                               -8%
    Toledo, Ohio
    San Jose-Sunnyvale, Calif.
5. Wilmington, NC                            -7%
    Greensboro-High Point, NC
     Detroit, Mich.
6. Trenton, NJ                                   -6%
    Reading, Pa.
    Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.
    Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.
     Chicago, Ill.
7.  Champaign-Urbana, Ill.                   -5%
     Santa Cruz, Calif.
     Holland-Grand Haven, Mich.
     San Luis Obispo, Calif.
     Evansville, Ind.-Ken.
     Salem, Ore.
     Modesto, Calif.
     Portland, Maine
     Stockton, Calif.
     Providence, RI
     Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.
     Cleveland, Ohio
8.  Bremerton, Wash.                        -4%
    Spartanburg, SC
    Lincoln, Neb.
    Asheville, NC
    Ogden, Utah
9. Chico, Calif.                                   -3%
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Norwich-New London, Conn.
    Fort Wayne, Ind.
    Tucson, Ariz.
    Nashville, Tenn.
    Portland, Ore.
     Riverside, Calif.
10. Springfield, Ill.                              -2%
      Olympia, Wash.
      South Bend, Ind.
      Spokane, Wash.
      Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.
      Buffalo, NY
      Sacramento, Calif.
      Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.
       Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif.
Source: Manpower employment outlook survey of 31,800 employers in 200 metro markets. Milwaukee-based Manpower provides employee recruiting and outplacement services.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:23am]


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