Friday, April 20, 2018
Business

Tampa Bay's economic recovery — a bounce off the bottom but a long way to go

Tampa Bay's economic recovery has been far stronger than elsewhere since the depth of the Great Recession.

No, wait, the bay area is lagging most of the country in regaining its economic strength.

Turns out both statements are true based on the latest Metro Monitor snapshot from the Brookings Institution released Wednesday. It all depends on which measuring stick you look at.

Every quarter, Brookings ranks the recession's impact on the 100 largest metros based on four criteria: jobs, unemployment, economic output, and house prices. Wednesday's report is tied to data from the end of 2013.

Tampa Bay was the ninth hardest-hit metro in the country during the recession. Housing prices fell more than 50 percent; total jobs shrunk by 11 percent; economic output tumbled 10 percent.

Since hitting its low point in 2010, the bay area's recovery has been impressive, ranking 21st strongest out of 100 metros.

Getting back to its pre-recession economic peak is another matter. By that gauge, Tampa Bay is still in the bottom 20, ranking a dismal 82nd.

In fact, all eight Florida metros Brookings analyzes pale compared to boom times, with each of their economic performance's ranking in the bottom quarter.

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