Advertisement
  1. Business

Recession snares six energy states as Florida economy defies signs of slowdown

While Florida's economic recovery chugs along, Alaska is among a half-dozen energy-dependent states to have fallen into recession. Its latest unemployment rate of 6.7 percent is the highest in the country. This file photo is of the Arctic Challenger, which had been designated for drilling off the coast of Alaska. 
[Associated Press file photo]

Published Jan. 24, 2017

Amid all the talk of the U.S. economic rebound and job growth comes news that a bevy of states are, by one respected eye, already in a recession.

A report by S&P Global Ratings says recession hit six of the eight biggest oil-producing states in 2016, a result of the impact from the global commodity's slide on the American energy market. Alaska, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wyoming are in a recession, with the larger and more diverse Texas economy evading the clutches of a downturn thus far. Montana also escaped.

Recession in parts of the country? Floridians probably did not see this coming. This state last Friday announced that its jobless rate held steady at 4.9 percent in December, as it was in November. The U.S. unemployment rate is 4.7 percent.

The only blip that bears watching is that Florida actually lost jobs in December from a month earlier. Jobs declined in the month by 700, a modest number to be sure, though private sector jobs actually dropped by 2,700 in December. It was only the addition of 2,000 new government jobs in this state that helped trim the total job decline to 700 in December.

Whether the job dip is a harbinger of slowing times for Florida seems unlikely for now. Florida added 251,400 jobs in all of 2016, more than any other state except California.

Still, I'm a big believer in maintaining economic perspective. Here are three indicators just out from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that let us know where Florida stands among the 50 states:

19: The number of states whose December unemployment rates were significantly lower than Florida's 4.9 percent.

2.6: Percent of jobless in New Hampshire, as of December the lowest unemployment rate of any state.

• 6.7: Percent of jobless in Alaska, as of December the highest unemployment rate of any state. Alaska is one of those six states now in a recession, says S&P Global.

So where does Florida stand among its peers? Not too hot, not too cold. Comfortably in the economic middle.

Contact Robert Trigaux at rtrigaux@tampabay.com. Follow @venturetampabay.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Regina Temple is the new president and CEO at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. HCA West Florida
    Read this and more Pasco County business news.
  2. The City Council has called for consultants to design an outdoor concert pavilion with a fixed covering over 4,000 seats in the middle of its proposed overhaul of the downtown waterfront. That decision is causing some friction in the city as officials prepare to present preliminary design drawings to the public. City of Clearwater
    Some in the city are divided over Clearwater’s $64.5 million plan.
  3. Tampa Bay workers are more likely than employees in other metros to quit because of a boss they don’t like, according to a recent survey. Pictured are job seekers at a Tampa job fair in June. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times] JONES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Tampa Bay and Miami tied for the percentage of employees who quit because of a boss.
  4. Recent sunny day flooding in Shore Acres, a St. Petersburg neighborhood vulnerable to rising sea levels. [Times] Susan Taylor Martin
    The organizations will explore the impact of climate change on Florida.
  5. The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences - Pasco Extension opened an incubator kitchen on Sept. 23. It's  at 15029 14th Street in Dade City. The goal of the kitchen is to create educational opportunities for food entrepreneurs and help them to start new businesses. Whitney Eleamor (center left) developed the idea for the kitchen. PAIGE FRY  |  Paige Fry
    The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last week for the Pasco County Extension Service community kitchen.
  6. The Topgolf on Palm River Road in Brandon features over 100 golf bays, a bar, a full food and dessert menu, a rooftop terrace and a large event space. Players can also enjoy free wifi, over 200 HD TVs as well as pool and fooseball tables. [Times (2014)]
    The driving-range filed for permits this week to add on the new course.
  7. A dinner guest at the Maritana Grille at the Don Cesar Hotel contends in a lawsuit filed Friday that she was seriously injured when a waiter poured some of the liquid nitrogen that he was using to prepare a dessert at an adjacent table into her water glass and she drank it. (Times file photo)
    Stacey Wagers contends she was injured while dining at the Maritana Grille last year.
  8. Hernando County community news Tara McCarty
    Plus a health symposium, ribbon cuttings and other Hernando County business news.
  9. A Tampa company has spent nearly $8.8 million acquiring 180 acres north of Shell Point Road in Ruskin. Susan Taylor Martin
    We find the answers in our continuing look at new construction in the Tampa Bay area.
  10. Left to Right: Hospitality panel members Viviana Leyva, Steve Westphal and Jeff Gigante talk about the needs of the hospitality industry in Tampa Bay region during a kickoff of the University of South Florida Hospitality Leadership Program last month. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    Restaurant and hotel owners say they have a need for finding and keeping talented workers.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement