Sunday, August 19, 2018
Business

Tampa Bay's economic recovery looks healthier compared to other metros

Tampa Bay's economy, comparatively speaking, is doing much better these days.

The bay area's economic recovery ranks 30th among the 100 largest metros in the country, with a big drop in its unemployment rate largely responsible for pushing it into the top third.

The news, from a quarterly MetroMonitor analysis by the Brookings Institution, is a far cry from a year ago when Tampa Bay's recovery was among the 20 weakest in the country, held down by posting the third-weakest growth in economic output since hitting its low point here in early 2010.

In surging in the standings, Tampa Bay benefitted from a weaker field, with most cities slowing their rate of recovery between the first quarter and second quarter this year.

The analysis measured the rate of economic recovery, not overall economic strength.

"In the race to recovery, metro areas are running at slow speeds with some tripping along the way," said Alec Friedhoff, a research analyst with Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program who also was lead MetroMonitor developer.

Employment growth softened in the second quarter across the metro areas. The unemployment rate dropped in about half the metros, but still remained above 6 percent in all but 12. Housing continued its tortured path to recovery, with 87 metro housing markets hitting new lows on prices.

The report tracked the recovery of metros from their recessionary low points in four key areas: change in employment; change in unemployment rate; change in the gross metropolitan product (or economic output); and change in housing prices.

Tampa Bay's stronger performance was driven in part by the fact it posted the ninth best recovery in unemployment among all metros, with its jobless rate dropping from a peak of 12.5 percent down to 9 percent as of June.

However, the analysis doesn't take into account that the area's unemployment rate rose to 9.4 percent in July. Moreover, a recent report by state economists indicated much of the recent drop in unemployment may be overstated. About 91 percent of retraction in the state's unemployment rate since January was due to Floridians dropping out of the workforce and not due to job creation, according to the state report.

Among other yardsticks in the MetroMonitor update, Tampa Bay ranked:

• 14th best recovery in housing prices from their low point.

• 26th best in addition of jobs since the beginning of 2010.

• 70th in economic improvement, with its economic output up 4.5 percent from the low reached at the end of 2009.

Like the rest of the metros, a recent slowdown is evident, however. The bay area's economic output rose just 0.2 percent in the latest quarter.

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

Comments
Dear Penny: How can I tell my boss to stop making fun of my old car?

Dear Penny: How can I tell my boss to stop making fun of my old car?

Dear Penny,I’m a recent college grad who’s been working an entry-level job for the past year. I only make about $33,000 a year, but I’m doing OK. I’m able to pay my bills without taking on more debt. One of the reasons I’m able to do so is that I dri...
Published: 08/17/18
Updated: 08/19/18
Pinellas commission candidate faced stalking, abuse claims

Pinellas commission candidate faced stalking, abuse claims

ST. PETERSBURG — A political newcomer seeking a Pinellas County Commission seat has faced accusations of physical abuse and stalking from her former fiance, who twice sought court-ordered protection from her.Both allegations came after Democrat Amy K...
Published: 08/17/18
Tampa Bay’s seventh renovated Winn-Dixie opens in Hernando County

Tampa Bay’s seventh renovated Winn-Dixie opens in Hernando County

SPRING HILL — The latest Winn-Dixie remodel opened in Hernando County on Thursday.This marks the seventh remodeled Winn-Dixie parent company Southeastern Grocers has unveiled in Tampa Bay this year. The chain promised renovations following emerging f...
Published: 08/17/18
St. Petersburg ranks No. 39 in U.S. for affordable living, study says

St. Petersburg ranks No. 39 in U.S. for affordable living, study says

ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg is beating the national averages on affordable homeownership, according to a SmartAsset study.The financial technology company ranked 115 of the biggest cities in the U.S., measured by mortgage payments, property taxes...
Published: 08/17/18

Florida unemployment falls to 3.7 percent

Florida’s unemployment rate hit an 11-year low in July. The jobless rate inched down a notch to 3.7 percent, according to state figures released Friday, continuing the state’s 10-month run of a sub-4 percent unemployment rate. "This is one of the big...
Published: 08/17/18
Welfont, KnowBe4, Teami and other Tampa Bay companies rank high in Inc. 5000 list

Welfont, KnowBe4, Teami and other Tampa Bay companies rank high in Inc. 5000 list

While a Wisconsin company that makes software to execute shipments and a trendy cellphone grip company out of Colorado may have taken the top spots in this year’s Inc. 5000 list — Florida still had an impressive showing. Every year, Inc. ranks the 5...
Published: 08/17/18
Wages remain stagnant in Florida despite super low unemployment. What’s going on?

Wages remain stagnant in Florida despite super low unemployment. What’s going on?

It remains our biggest economic enigma: Sluggish wage growth despite low unemployment. In a robust job market, pay rises as the supply of available workers shrinks. At least that’s the way it normally works. This time around, the ingredients appear ...
Published: 08/17/18
Children who lived with smokers are more likely to die of lung disease as adults, study says

Children who lived with smokers are more likely to die of lung disease as adults, study says

Childhood exposure to secondhand smoke is linked to lung disease decades later, according to a study published Thursday by the American Cancer Society.For 22 years, researchers have been following more than 70,000 adults who have never smoked. At the...
Published: 08/17/18
What would it take to overthrow king Publix? Safeway’s Florida exit begs the question.

What would it take to overthrow king Publix? Safeway’s Florida exit begs the question.

LARGO — Everything is on clearance inside Tampa Bay’s only Safeway grocery store. Patio furniture, 40 percent off. Beach chairs, too. Most grocery items are 30 percent off; the entire liquor store is 20 percent off.The discounts will probably get ste...
Published: 08/17/18
Trump asks SEC to look into ditching quarterly filings

Trump asks SEC to look into ditching quarterly filings

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump says he’s asking federal regulators to look into the effectiveness of the quarterly financial reports that publicly traded companies are required to file. In a tweet early Friday, Trump said that after speaking with ...
Published: 08/17/18