Tampa Bay’s COVID-19 Vulnerability Index

April 6, 2020

With the help of Chumura Economics & Analytics and JobsEQ, the Tampa Bay EDC has measured the area’s Vulnerability Index, a measurement of the negative impact that the coronavirus crisis can have on employment based upon a region’s mix of industries.

An average Vulnerability Index score is 100, representing the average job loss expected in the United States. Higher scores indicate the degree to which job losses may be greater. An index of 200, for example, means the rate of job loss can be twice as large as the national average.

Out of 67 counties in the state of Florida, Hillsborough County ranked 33 with an index of 98.8, which is 1.2% below the national average.

The projection estimates that the United States could lose 15.0 million jobs due to COVID-19, with over half of the jobs lost in hotels, food services, and entertainment industries.  Note that job losses referred to here are expected to be temporary for the length of the crisis.

One of the leading indicators of Tampa’s vulnerability index is the recent decline in local job postings.  Since the week of March 2, job postings continued to take a downward turn. By the end of the March 23 week, job postings were cut nearly in half for a loss of -48% or more than 3,500.

The hardest hit occupations with the largest declines in job postings were those in the food services industry followed by office workers.

On the flip side, occupations in the healthcare industry are in high demand and are expected to grow in leaps and bounds due to the coronavirus spreading at a rapid rate.


During the same time period of March 2-23, job postings in healthcare occupations saw huge gains.  Postings for medical equipment preparers and surgeons grew 25% while critical care nurses and emergency medical technicians and paramedics saw triple digit growth during the four-week time span.