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Partnership report shows St. Pete, other area neighborhoods hit hardest by layoffs

Margie Manning



An interactive map developed by the Tampa Bay partnership shows unemployment hot spots by ZIP code.

The Tampa Bay Partnership has developed an interactive map showing the ZIP codes in the area with the highest concentration of claims for unemployment benefits.

In several ZIP codes in central St. Petersburg, claims account for 6 percent of the workforce or more, ranking them among the most concentrated areas of unemployment locally. In 33701, downtown St. Petersburg, claims account for 6.77 percent of the workforce, while the 33713 ZIP code in north-central St. Petersburg has a 6.26 percent claims rate.

The highest levels of claims are in eastern Polk County, where claims accounted for more than 10 percent of the labor force, likely because of amusement park and hotel closures, the Partnership report said. Other areas with a high concentration of claims are in West Tampa, Town ‘n’ Country, New Port Richey and Holiday.

The map was released as part of a series of reports by the Partnership, looking at the economic impact of Covid-19. Since announcing the project earlier this month, the Partnership has produced 11 reports, including today’s report on unemployment.

Florida’s jobless rate has been soaring, after a statewide stay at home order and other restrictions placed on businesses to control the spread of Covid-19. As of April 4, there were 463,309 initial unemployment claims filed statewide in the five-week period that included all of March and the first week of April, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. About 100,000 Tampa Bay residents filed a first-time claim during that time period, the Partnership report said.

The report dug into the numbers to come up with detailed insight into the people and occupations most heavily impacted by the economic effects of the pandemic.

In terms of job loss, Tampa Bay may be faring slightly better than Orlando, South Florida or the state as a whole, according to the report. There have been 100,176 claims for unemployment benefits filed in the overall Tampa Bay region, which is about 21.6 percent of the total claims filed in the state. That’s a slightly lower percentage than the Tampa Bay area’s collective share of the total state’s labor force, which is 22.1 percent.

However, women in the Tampa Bay area account for 60.95 percent of the claims. As a group, women make up 56.76 percent of the local workforce. The Partnership report said that suggests women are disproportionately impacted by the crisis.

Younger workers and those with less education also are being hit harder. While workers aged 34 years and younger account for 33.94 percent of the labor force in the Tampa Bay area, they represent 41.57 percent of claims. In Tampa Bay, workers with a high school education or less account for 29.08 percent of the labor force, and 39.41 percent of initial claims.

Claims by race and ethnicity currently mirror, for the most part, existing labor force demographics in the Tampa Bay area, as well as other areas of Florida, the report said.

The hardest-hit jobs include those in food preparation and service; personal care; management; arts, design, entertainment, sports and media; and healthcare support. Those occupations account for 22.61 percent of the jobs in Tampa Bay, and 53.96 percent of the unemployment claims.


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