Make us your home page

Tampa Bay's unemployment rate rises to 7.2 percent

Has Tampa Bay caught a case of recovery interruptus?

After starting 2013 on a tear, the bay area's jobs recovery has hit a bumpy patch the past couple of months.

Tampa Bay's unemployment rate jumped to 7.2 percent, hitting its highest point since February as the metro area shed 13,800 jobs in June. That's on top of 300 jobs lost a month earlier.

Unlike statewide figures, metro regional data is not seasonally adjusted so it tends to fluctuate more, with unemployment typically rising in the summer months when school is out of session. However, even adjusted numbers show there's been a slowdown.

Unemployment statewide has barely budged since April, with the number of jobs created last month (9,300) barely offsetting the number of jobs lost in May (6,200).

Mekael Teshome, an economist who tracks Florida for PNC Bank, said he's not overly concerned with the state's "downshifting in job growth" between the first and second quarter.

"This is a temporary speed bump," Teshome said. "The pieces are still there to move the recovery forward."

Among those pieces: home prices continue rising in tandem with falling foreclosures; the broader U.S. economy is stronger; and Florida's growing population is fueling demand in health care, tourism and financial services.

Scott Brown, chief economist with Raymond James Financial, concurred that the recovery may be choppy, but that doesn't mean it has derailed.

"Recoveries are never completely smooth," he said. "I wouldn't say it's stalled just yet."

Brown acknowledged a concern that rising mortgage rates would crimp housing, but, he added, "I'm not hearing a lot of complaints from the home builders."

To him, the latest snapshot from the state is just more evidence Floridians still face a prolonged climb to full recovery even though the unemployment rate has fallen dramatically the past three years.

Much of the drop so far may be overstated, economists say, because the jobless rate doesn't include part-timers seeking full-time jobs nor discouraged job seekers who have temporarily given up looking.

The bay area's unemployment rate rose from 6.8 percent to 7.2 percent, with all local counties posting higher rates, according to figures released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Year-over year, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater remains the biggest job generator among major metros. It's up by 33,300 jobs compared with June 2012, about 10,000 jobs more than the state's second best-performing metro, Orlando.

The bay area's two biggest job-losing industries last month were accommodations/food services (down 2,600 jobs) and education/health services (down 2,000 jobs).

The metro results came a day after federal officials announced that Florida's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.1 percent in June.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the vast majority of the 9,300 jobs Florida added came in the public sector; only 2,300 were from the private sector.

Statewide figures were inadvertently released a day ahead of schedule by the federal government.

County-by-county jobless rates

RegionJune 2013May 2013June 2012
Hendry (high)13.511.215.3
Monroe (low)4.145
Tampa Bay*

*Combines Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties

Note: County and Tampa Bay area numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

Florida and U.S. numbers are seasonally adjusted.

Source: Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Tampa Bay's unemployment rate rises to 7.2 percent 07/19/13 [Last modified: Friday, July 19, 2013 10:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Kiran and Pallavi Patel commit $200 million for Clearwater medical school

    Real Estate

    CLEARWATER — Tampa Bay philanthropists Dr. Kiran Patel and his wife, Dr. Pallavi Patel are spending $200 million to create and promote a Tampa Bay regional campus for the private Nova Southeastern University.

    Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel, prolific Tampa Bay philanthropists, are putting up $200 million to create and run a new medical school under Nova Southeastern University. Here is a rendering of the proposed campus [Courtesy of Southestern Noval University}
  2. USF to rename sports management program for Vinik family


    The University of South Florida will name a business program for the Vinik family at a Tuesday event.

    Tampa Bay Lightning owner and chairman Jeff Vinik and his wife, Penny, in 2010.
  3. Tonight: Hear ideas for remaking downtown Tampa interchange


    TAMPA — New concepts for rebuilding the downtown interchange will be discussed at a Florida Department of Transportation community meeting Monday night.

    The Florida Department of Transportation renamed its controversial Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan is now known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. [Florida Department of Transportation]
  4. Target raising minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020


    NEW YORK — Target Corp. is raising its minimum hourly wage for its workers to $11 starting next month and then to $15 by the end of 2020 in a move it says will help it better recruit and retain top-quality staff and provide a better shopping experience for its customers.

    Target Corp. is raising its minimum hourly wage for its workers to $11 starting next month and then to $15 by the end of 2020
[File photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]
  5. PolitiFact Florida: How would Florida fare in Graham-Cassidy health care bill?


    Following a sharp rebuke by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., hit the airwaves to defend his bill that would undo much of the Affordable Care Act.

    Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.