Tampa Bay outpaces most U.S. metros on this key measure of growth

April 20, 2016

Margie Manning | Tampa Bay Business Journal

The Tampa metropolitan area has one of the fastest-growing economies among 53 metros nationwide.

Headlight, a data analytics firm, measured growth based on gains in employment, and ranked the Tampa metro No. 8 among 53 large metros — those with 1 million people or more.

Employment in the Tampa metro grew 3.5 percent between December 2014 and December 2015, according to Headlight, which used recently released figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nationwide, employment was up 2 percent. Austin was the fastest-growing economy, with a 4.7 percent gain in employment, followed by Orlando in the No. 2 spot, with 4.6 percent. Jacksonville was just ahead of Tampa, coming in at No. 7 with 3.6 percent employment growth. Miami came in at No. 24, with 2.3 percent employment growth.

Some observers have said wage growth has not kept pace with job growth, and that there is a gap between income and living costs.

In the Tampa metro, the average private sector salary in 2015 was $49,816, up 5 percent over 2014, putting Tampa in the No. 9 spot nationwide for one-year salary growth, Headlight said.

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