Tampa Bay's Economic Report Card: The Good, The Bad, and The Challenges Ahead
The Tampa Bay Partnership and the University of South Florida Muma College of Business recently released two reports that analyzed economic trends in the Tampa Bay area. The reports offered both good and bad news about the region's economic state.
On the positive side, the region is experiencing population growth, a low unemployment rate, and a healthy pace of business creation. However, there are also some areas of concern. The median household income ranks last among comparable markets, there are few affordable housing options, and wages are low.
The 2023 Regional Competitiveness Report and USF's E-Insights report serve as a call to action for policymakers in the region. The reports offer the opportunity to focus on solutions to the area's most pressing challenges, which include affordable housing and the high cost of living.
The 2023 State of the Region event brought together leaders from across the Tampa Bay area to discuss the future of work and the challenges in transportation and housing. According to Muma College Interim Dean GJ de Vreede, what gets measured gets done. The reports show that workers in the region spend over half of their income on housing and transportation. The population growth in the region has exacerbated the housing issue and additional housing supply is needed.
The reports also highlighted other trends in the region, including an increasing mental health crisis and drug overdoses. Although job openings appear to be in the middle of the pack, they are actually higher when considering the low labor force participation rate. The data used in the reports is about a year old and is not completely up-to-date.
In conclusion, the recent reports offer valuable insights into the economic state of the Tampa Bay area. While there are some positive trends, there are also areas of concern that need to be addressed. The reports serve as a call to action for policymakers and leaders in the region to work together to find solutions to these challenges.