Tampa Bay area economy ranks last in Southeast

The bay area economy ranks as worst among its peers in the Southeast based on a regional scorecard released Monday by the Tampa Bay Partnership.

Blame the housing downturn, the partnership said, for the region's fall from fourth to sixth overall compared to Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; Jacksonville; and No. 1-ranked Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

The report card measures six economic driver categories: employment/work force; income/productivity; housing; innovation; education; and the new category of transportation.

"Every category that could fall did fall," said Larry Henson, the Partnership's business intelligence officer.

The bay area plummeted most dramatically — from second to sixth — in the employment category after shedding 27,000 jobs from the first quarter of 2007.

>>FAST FACTS

Why Tampa Bay area's rank fell

>> State's weaker housing sector.

>> Metro area lost 27,000 jobs in past year.

>> No. 1 Raleigh-Durham, N.C., was first in all but two categories.

Tampa Bay area economy ranks last in Southeast 05/19/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 1:34pm]

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