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Tampa-St. Pete area scores high in economic diversity index

Margie Manning

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Downtown St. Petersburg (Courtesy of KW Commercial)

The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area could fare better in an economic downturn than most metro areas in the United States.

The Tampa-St. Pete metro area — which includes Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties —  ranks No. 8 on a list looking at economic diversity in the nation’s largest metro areas.

Chmura Economics & Analytics and JobsEQ compiled the list by comparing industry employment in a particular region with that of the entire United States.

Economic diversity measures the degree to which a region utilizes a broad mix of economic activities, including serving as home to a wide range of industries. “The more economically diverse a region is, the better insulated it is against economic shocks,” Chmura said.

Economic diversity becomes increasingly important amid stock market fluctuations, slower bank lending and projections of a recession. It’s also a key factor for economic developers and site selectors.

“A non-diverse economic structure can hinder economic development planning efforts,” Chmura said. “Similarly, a new store in an economically diverse region is more likely to remain open during an economic downturn.”

Chmura also looked at economic diversity for counties nationwide, finding Hillsborough County is the fourth-most economically diverse county in the U.S.  Pinellas County ranked No. 53 among the 3,136 counties on the list.

Here’s a look at the top industries in each county, based on number of employer establishments in May 2018, the most recent data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

 

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