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Robert Trigaux

Tampa Bay makes U.S. News' list of '10 Worst' metro areas for jobs -- but does not deserve it

jobfairtampaconvcentercarriepratt.jpgWake up and good morning. Ouch. While job data show the Tampa Bay area unemployment rate in April falling to 10.5 percent, down from 11 percent in March, it did not stop the metro area from getting tagged on a new U.S. News & World Report list as one of the "10 Worst Cities For Job Seekers."

"Some U.S. cities still have a long way to go to reach full job market recovery," U.S. News opined. Now that's advertising a recovering metro area would prefer to skip, even if it is true. (Photo: Job fair at Tampa Convention Center. Carrie Pratt, St. Petersburg Times.)

Tampa Bay ranked 10th on this nasty list, barely making the rankings. Here's what U.S. News had to say about the job prospects here, keeping in mind its data did not include the latest drop in our jobless rate:

"Unemployed people per job posting: 2.18. Though Tampa's 11 percent unemployment rate is high by national standards, it has the lowest unemployed-to-job-postings ratio of any of these 10 cities. As of April 2011, construction employment in Tampa was down 3.9 percent over the prior year, and total job growth was at a sluggish 0.7 percent over that same period."

And the other metro areas? You're going to notice a certain Florida concentration on this list with four of the 10 spots occupied by Florida metro areas. Here they are in descending order:

9. Jacksonville.
8. Orlando.
7. Providence, R.I.
6. Detroit.
5. Miami-Fort Lauderdale.
4. Los Angeles.
3. Sacramento, Calif.
2. Las Vegas.
1. Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.

Here's more current data that shows Tampa Bay starting to look better. Tampa Bay had 149,968 unemployed people in April 2010. A year later (April 2011), that number had dropped to 136,283, according to the Agency for Workforce Innovation (our state keeper of jobs data) in this latest report. Now there's a lot of noise in those numbers but it is the direction (fewer unemployed) that is the key. Here's hoping that trend line accelerates... and that we get off these dreadful "10 Worst" lists.

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, St. Petersburg Times




[Last modified: Thursday, August 18, 2011 7:58am]


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