2017 Tampa MSA forecast: Lower cost of living, robust job creation signal continued growth

January 10, 2017

Data recently reported by the Tampa Hillsborough EDC offers numbers going in the right direction for the Tampa metro area. The cost of living continues to be well below the national average, while vital industry sectors, such as Professional and Business Services and Education and Health Services, continue to add jobs.

As of the third quarter of 2016, the Tampa MSA’s Cost of Living Index (COLI) was nearly eight points below the national average to 92.2. While the recent data was slightly higher than the second quarter index of 89.4, the Tampa MSA’s score was lower than most competing marketing in Florida and around the U.S., including Orlando, Atlanta, Dallas, and Raleigh, N.C.

Meanwhile, job numbers continue to rise in the area, creating more job opportunity for residents in the area and those looking to relocate here. From the third quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2016, employment totals increased by 36,400 to 1,282,300.

While our employment growth is middle of the pack when looking at metros across the country, the industries where we continually gain employment is what matters most.

From October 2015 to October 2016, Professional and Business Services saw employment increases of 4.5%, or 10,200. With an employment figure of 234,400, this industry holds the majority of employment in the metro. During this time frame, Education and Health Services saw an increase of 6,900, bringing the employment total to 205,500. This industry holds the second largest share of employment in the Tampa metro area.

While many industries included in the October 2016 economic indicators report saw increases in employment, none came close to these two sectors.

“As Tampa and Hillsborough County continues to grow as a premier business destination, it’s vital that our community continue to attract and retain jobs in high-quality industries, such as financial and professional services and life sciences,” said Steve Morey, VP of Business Development for the Tampa Hillsborough EDC.