Here’s how Tampa metro’s cost of living index is performing

November 11, 2016

Pam Huff | Tampa Bay Business Journal

A new report from the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. shows that despite the cost of living index increasing from last quarter, the Tampa metro area’s cost of living continues to remain low compared to similar metros.

The cost of living index in the third quarter of 2016 was 92.2, a slight increase from the second quarter index but 7.8 points lower than the national average, according to the EDC’s research team. It’s the lowest among similar metros like Orlando, Jacksonville and Atlanta.

In addition to evaluating the cost of living, the EDC report looks at employment in the area, noting that professional and business services added 8,500 jobs to the employment total in the third quarter, an increase of 4 percent from September 2015 to September 2016.

“This target industry continues to hold 18 percent of major industry employment in the region, which is also the largest share of the industries analyzed,” a summary of the results states.

Real estate, rental and leasing saw a percentage increase of 6.2 percent, partly due to the number of single-family home permits issued in recent months.

“Employment numbers are increasing; unemployment rates continue to stay low; and more and more people are taking action to make Tampa and Hillsborough County their permanent home. The economy is continuing to grow here,” said Robin DiSalvo, Market Research Analyst for the EDC.

For the index, the EDC evaluated grocery items, housing and utilities, among other categories.

See more from the report below.