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Venture

Robert Trigaux

Florida cities flattened in Milken Institute's annual 'Best Performers' review

12

November

Tampaskylineterrytomalinphoto Wake up and good morning. Even as the Pew Center for the States warns Florida is in a sorry fiscal state... even as we learn weak job prospects in Tampa Bay are better than other parts of Florida... here comes the annual Milken Institute report of the nation's Best Performing Cities: Where America's Jobs are Created and Sustained. And Florida's cities (that's Tampa in this Terry Tomalin photo) get flattened as if hit by a steamroller.

If the report finds Texas dominating the best performers (buoyed by the oil industry and only a modest run-up in home prices), guess which state hogs the worst performing list? You betcha. Here's what the Milken report, which analyzed 200 cities, says of Florida:

"One glance at the list of metros recording the biggest declines reveals the extent of the housing bust in Florida. Twelve of the twenty metros experiencing the biggest declines were in Florida. Much of the economic growth through mid-decade in these metros was driven by residential and commercial construction activity, and this sector has ground to a halt. Several of these metros are also dependent on travel and tourism, which plunged late last year.

"The dubious distinction of posting the biggest decline goes to Pensacola–Ferry Pass–Brent, Florida. Pensacola is the poster child for the factors behind the decline: a housing bust combined with a rapid deterioration in travel and tourism. Its professional and business services employment also took a dramatic hit."

St.petersburgaerialtimesfiles It's not only that Florida cities ranked low but fell so dramatically in just the past year. Note that Tampa Bay (that's St. Petersburg in the aerial shot) fell 89 spots in the ranks in one year, 5th worst. Makes you wonder, given Texas's performance, if this will be more fodder for the "Let's drill of Florida's coasts" advocates. Here are the biggest decliners:

  ...............................................  2009 Rank   2008 Rank  Decline
1. Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL...157 .............33..............-124
2. Merced, CA.................................184..............73..............-111
3. Jacksonville, FL...........................141..............39..............-102
4. Myrtle Beach area, SC.................120..............19..............-101
5. Tampa Bay area, FL..................169..............80...............-89
6. Orlando-Kissimmee, FL..................99..............11...............-88
7. Boise City-Nampa, ID....................114.............27...............-87
8. Clarksville, TN-KY........................ 136.............51...............-85
9. Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, FL.....176.............97...............-79
10. Nashville area, TN.........................98.............22...............-76
11. Ocala, FL....................................104............30...............-74
12. Port St. Lucie, FL........................150.............78...............-72
13. Naples-Marco Island, FL...............155.............83..............-72
14, Fort Lauderdale area, FL.............. 131.............61..............-70
15. Daytona Beach area, FL.............. 162.............92..............-70
16. West Palm Beach area, FL...........175............105..............-70
17. Fresno, CA..................................115..............47..............-68
18. Montgomery, AL..........................102..............38...............-64
19. Stockton, CA...............................166............103...............-63
20. Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL....179.............117...............-62

So who's tops? Here's the 2009 top 10 performers (with 2008 rankings):

1. Austin-Round Rock, TX (4)
2. Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX (13)
3. Salt Lake City, UT (3)
4. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX (7)
5. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX (16)
6. Durham, NC (21)
7. Olympia, WA (9)
8. Huntsville, AL (5)
9. Lafayette, LA (14)
10. Raleigh-Cary, NC (2)

Here's the full report. And here's an interactive Web site that let's you explore the data more easily.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist


 

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 12:26pm]

    

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