Tampa Ranks #4 in the U.S. for job growth since Great Recession


April 18, 2016



The Great Recession, which officially began December 2007 and ended June 2009, hit Florida particularly hard. The effects lingered, too. At the end of December 2009, 75 percent of Florida metros saw double digit unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted). At its worst point, the Tampa metro area had nearly 153,000 people out of work and a total unemployment rate of 11.9 percent.

Things were pretty grim.

Fast forward to January 2016, though, and the economic picture here looked dramatically different.

The Tampa MSA boasted a remarkable jobs recovery, with unemployment plummeting to 4.6 percent. According to the New York Times, the metro has expanded its employment by 24 percent since December 2009, and now ranks 4th in the U.S and #1 in the state of Florida for the most growth. The chart below depicts the growth using data the Times sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and represents the larger metro areas associated with each city:

Employment growth by MSA 12/09-1/16

Within the metro area, the City of Tampa is leading the charge when it comes to economic recovery.  Ranked as the #1 City in the Southeast by Money Magazine, Tampa is undergoing a massive transformation of its downtown waterfront district courtesy of a $2 billion redevelopment of 40 contiguous acres in the urban core financed by Jeff Vinik’s SPP and Bill Gates’ Cascade Investments.

In his State of the City address, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said of the recovery, “We’re not perfect, but we built a city that confronts its challenges head on. We work together to find solutions.”

To see the story of Tampa’s powerful comeback, we invite you to watch this video.

Tampa continues to lead the state in creating high wage and high skill jobs in key industries such as financial and professional services, information technology and healthcare.

In March, the Tampa metro area added 42,800 new private-sector jobs over the year, and the unemployment rate in Tampa MSA went down 0.8 percentage point over the year to 4.4 percent.

The industries with the greatest job growth over the year in the Tampa metro were professional and business services with 12,400 new jobs, and education and health services with 11,000 new jobs. The area continued its successful job creation streak, remaining first among the state metro areas in job demand in March with 47,790 openings. The Tampa Bay area was also first in the state in demand for high-skill science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) occupations, with 14,950 openings last month.

Tampa and Hillsborough County’s February Economic Indicators report offers more good news.

On the residential real estate front, building Permits in Hillsborough County for single-family homes year-to-date were up 11 percent, and rental rates for multi-family homes in Hillsborough County were up 9% and 14% in the Tampa metro area over last year.

Single family home sales had a huge increase of 25 percent, while average sale prices increased 12 percent over last year, going from $216,097 to $241,712 this year.

Consumer gross sales in Hillsborough County also increased , up 7% year-over-year.

We invite you to download the February Economic Indicators report here.

Have questions? Need more data? Robin DiSalvo, our Marketing Research Analyst, is happy to help. Please contact her at rdisalvo@tampabayedc.com or call 813.518.2652.

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