Make us your home page

Blame high unemployment as Florida's consumer confidence falls in February

Well that didn't last long.

After a big jump in January, Florida's consumer confidence level tumbled in February.

Blame the fall on Florida's rising, double-digit unemployment, said Chris McCarty, director at the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research, which conducts the monthly survey.

"While national unemployment edged downward in January to 9.7 percent, Florida's unemployment increased to 11.8 percent," McCarty said. "Floridians may be coming to terms with the possibility that Florida's economy will not recover at the same pace as other states."

McCarty had predicted that the 5-point jump in confidence in January would be short-lived because the survey was taken before the latest unemployment numbers became public. The index dropped 2 points this month to 72, reflecting a low level of faith in the economy.

McCarty said more people are optimistic about their finances, heavy layoffs have abated, and the stock market and the housing market are stabilizing.

"There is no question that the economy is in better shape than it was even one year ago," he said. "The problem comes down to employment and the potential effects of extended high unemployment on other areas of the economy, such as retail sales and housing."

About 40 percent of the country's unemployed have been on the job hunt for more than six months. Many of them have exhausted benefits or soon will.

The telephone survey is benchmarked to 1966. A value of 100 represents the same level of confidence for that year.

Jeff Harrington can be reached at or (727) 893-8242. Follow him on Twitter at

Blame high unemployment as Florida's consumer confidence falls in February 02/23/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 9:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. 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.

  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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]