Make us your home page

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 or (727) 893-8242.

Brookings: Tampa Bay economy improving but still sluggish 03/28/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 8:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus


    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.

  2. Boho Hunter will target fashions in Hyde Park


    Boho Hunter, a boutique based in Miami's Wynwood District, will expand into Tampa with its very first franchise.

    Palma Canaria bags will be among the featured items at Boho Hunter when it opens in October. Photo courtesy of Boho Hunter.
  3. Gallery now bringing useful art to Hyde Park customers


    HYDE PARK — In 1998, Mike and Sue Shapiro opened a gallery in St. Petersburg along Central Ave., with a majority of the space dedicated to Sue's clay studio.

     As Sue Shapiro continued to work on her pottery in St. Petersburg, her retail space grew and her studio shrunk. Now Shapiro's is bringing wares like these to Hyde Park Village. Photo courtesy of Shapiro's.
  4. Appointments at Raymond James Bank and Saint Leo University highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers



    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Jackson will oversee all of Raymond James Bank's operational business elements, risk management and strategic planning functions. Kackson joins Raymond James Bank after senior …

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. [Company handout]
  5. Cooking passion spurs owner to pull open AJ's Kitchen Drawer


    TAMPA — After graduating from the University of Tampa in May 2016, AJ Albrecht spent four months traveling around Southeast Asia and Australia.

    AJs Kitchen Drawer offers a wide variety of unique kitchenware items, such as handcrafted knives and wooden items, as well as local gourmet products. Photo by Danielle Hauser