Who %@$* says Tampa Bay's one of nation's MOST STRESSFUL places?
Wake up and good morning. The only lists Tampa Bay seems to rate high on these days deal with stuff like high foreclosure rates, bankruptcies, declining home prices, unemployment and lack of mass transit. But wait! A new one says Tampa Bay is the No. 4 metro area -- fourth nationwide!-- when it comes to being MOST STRESSFUL.
Yep, Tampa Bay trails only Las Vegas (No. 1), Los Angeles (No. 2) and Houston (No. 3) as the most stressed-out place to be these days. So says Forbes magazine which did a semi-scientific analysis of several factors in choosing the twitchiest metro areas of the country. Forbes examined the country's 40 largest U.S. Census-defined metropolitan statistical areas and looked at quality of life indicators. Here's the methodology Forbes used. Here's the Forbes story.
Tampa Bay ranked high, Forbes says, for these reasons:
High Unemployment Rank: 5th. Our unemployment rate in June was a nasty 12 percent, up from 11.1 percent a year earlier.
Long Commute Times Rank: 17th. Maybe a regional mass transit plan under consideration could de-stress us a bit while commuting someday.
Long Working Hours Rank: 10th. When so many folks are unemployed, you're darn tootin' those with jobs will work long hours to keep their positions.
Limited Health Care Rank: 13th. Too many folks here still lack health insurance coverage.
Poor Physical Health Rank: 4th. Must be too much beer at Gasparilla and too many Cuban sandwiches.
Limited Exercise Rank: 9th. A survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says we don't exercise much. Hey, you been outside these days in this steam bath?
So try and chill out, Tampa Bay, before we rank even higher on the MOST STRESSFUL list. Want to see the Top Ten in stress? Click here.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist