Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Business

Brookings: Tampa Bay economy improving but still sluggish

Tampa Bay may no longer be in the economic intensive care ward, but it isn't ready to check out of the hospital yet, according to the fourth quarter snapshot from Brookings Institution.

Brookings has been regularly ranking the economic recovery of the country's 100 largest metro areas using measuring sticks such as job creation, housing price changes and economic output.

A report released Wednesday indicates Tampa Bay has benefited from relatively strong job growth recently "but there's not much progress on the other indicators," report co-author Howard Wial said.

In the past two years, the area's unemployment rate has dropped 1.6 percentage points to 10 percent. This past quarter, its workforce grew a half percentage point, ranking 24th best among the 100 metros.

But in nearly every other category, Tampa Bay ranks not just in the weakest half but typically among the weakest 20 metros. Housing prices are down nearly 48 percent from their peak, far worse than the 26 percent average drop among metros.

Particularly dismal is the region's Gross Metropolitan Product, or the value of goods and services produced. From the lowest point during the recession in early 2010, Tampa Bay's economic output has improved just 1.7 percent, the seventh weakest recovery among metros.

The region's economic output "is still really, really struggling," Wial said. "It suggests you're at an earlier stage of recovery than most other metro areas. It suggest slow wage growth."

The results also mesh with other data indicating many of the new jobs created during the tepid recovery pay less than the jobs that have been lost.

Brookings doesn't rank metros directly, but rather in groups of 20, from strongest to weakest.

Tampa Bay had consistently ranked among the bottom 20 metros during previous MetroMonitor updates in the wake of the recession. This time, it ranks in the cluster of second-weakest 20 metros.

Wial cautioned against drawing many direct comparisons with previous reports, however, saying figures used before are constantly revised.

Jeff Harrington can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8242.

Comments
Grocery retailer Albertsons to buy drugstore chain Rite Aid

Grocery retailer Albertsons to buy drugstore chain Rite Aid

Associated PressThe privately held owner of Safeway, Vons and other grocery brands is plunging deeper into the pharmacy business with a deal to buy Rite Aid, the nation’s third-largest drugstore chain. Albertsons Companies is offering either a share ...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Following deaths from Irma, Florida looks to new rules for keeping nursing homes cool after outages

Following deaths from Irma, Florida looks to new rules for keeping nursing homes cool after outages

After national headlines and a public outcry over the deaths of 14 people at a Broward County nursing home after Hurricane Irma, nursing homes across the state are working to comply with new rules requiring them to have back-up power.But the process ...
Published: 02/20/18
Yoshi — car maintenance that comes to you — launches in Tampa Bay

Yoshi — car maintenance that comes to you — launches in Tampa Bay

A California-based company that promises to bring limited on-site car maintenance directly to you — from an oil change to a fill-up — has picked Tampa Bay as its next pit stop."Anything that your car needs, we’re going to bring to you," said Nick Ale...
Published: 02/20/18

Pasco Business Digest for Feb. 23

Business digestBrieflyLOCAL COMMUNITY RECOGNIZED: CHUY’S RESTAURANT TO OPEN: Chuy’s, the Austin-based Tex-Mex restaurant, will open its first Tampa Bay area location this spring near Cypress Creek Town Center in Wesley Chapel. The restaurant at 25750...
Published: 02/20/18
Epilogue: Tourism community remembers Paradise founder Cedar Hames

Epilogue: Tourism community remembers Paradise founder Cedar Hames

When Cedar Hames spoke, you listened.He was a natural storyteller, always dressed sharp to match his wit and natural elegance. He grew a two-person business in St. Petersburg into a leading tourism, advertising and marketing agency over an esteemed 3...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

ST. PETERSBURG — Speaking in front of a small crowd gathered on the front lawn of the city’s main library, Mayor Rick Kriseman announced Monday that the facility will get a $6 million renovation and be renamed in honor of President Barack Obama.The a...
Published: 02/19/18
Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

DUNEDIN –– Pinellas sheriff’s detectives spent their weekend luring in unlicensed electrical, plumbing and other home improvement contractors to a vacant home wired with cameras.It took only hours before a stream of people arrived to work on the outd...
Published: 02/19/18
Tampa Electric appeals OSHA citation for fatal Big Bend accident

Tampa Electric appeals OSHA citation for fatal Big Bend accident

TAMPA — Tampa Electric Co. is formally contesting the biting citation the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration handed down in December for a maintenance incident in June that left five workers dead.At a meeting with the Tampa Bay Tim...
Published: 02/19/18
On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

TAMPA — Columbia Restaurant owner Richard Gonzmart says he’s ready to put his checkbook where his heart is when it comes to supporting a Tampa Bay Rays move to Ybor City.So is the investment fund for the founding family of Ashley Furniture. So, it ap...
Published: 02/19/18
Report: Winn-Dixie parent company could close 200 stores

Report: Winn-Dixie parent company could close 200 stores

Bi-Lo LLC, a subsidiary of the same Jacksonville company that owns Winn-Dixie, could file for bankruptcy as soon as next month, according to a Bloomberg report.Parent company Southeastern Grocer is planning to shut down nearly 200 stores either befor...
Published: 02/19/18