Tampa’s economic diversity ranking improves since 2019

May 31, 2022

Despite the economic upheaval COVID-19 caused in 2020, the Tampa market’s economic diversity continues to improve. Since last measured in 2019, the Tampa MSA went from ranking #8 in the nation with an index of 36.10 to #7 in the nation with an index of 36.00 post-COVID.

When compared to our competitive markets, the Tampa MSA ranks third, behind Dallas and Atlanta, but outranking Charlotte and Phoenix.


Diving deeper by county, Hillsborough County ranked second in 2021 among the top 20 counties in the nation, an improvement from the fourth spot in 2019. Two years after COVID-19, Hillsborough County passed San Diego County in California and Cook County in Illinois. Hillsborough County’s unemployment rate is also lower now at 2.2% (as of April 2022) than compared to 2.9% in April 2019.

Prior to COVID-19, the economy was booming and consumer confidence was at an eighteen-year high and the Tampa market was thriving. And even though unemployment spiked to 13% in April 2020 due to the pandemic, the Tampa economy held steady, and by April 2021, unemployment was down to 4.5% and today it is lower than pre-COVID levels.

Prepared by the team at Chmura Economics and Analytics, the Economic Diversity Index measures how economically diverse a market is and gauges how flexible and stable an economy is during a disruptive event. A low index implies that our region is economically diverse.

This definitely speaks to Hillsborough County due to its low unemployment rate and industry growth.  Hillsborough County scored a 40.57 index in 2019 compared to the updated index in 2021 at 40.37.

Economic developers and site selectors should pay special attention to economic diversity since a non-diverse economic structure can hinder economic development planning efforts.

Chmura uses JobsEQ employment data in making a thorough Economic Diversity Index calculation.  The index measures industry employment by region in comparison to the United States. For more on Chmura’s methodology, check out this recent blog.

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