Categories: Know

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

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.



Margie Manning

Margie started her journalism career as a radio news reporter in St. Louis, before putting down her microphone and picking up a pen to work at the St. Louis Business Journal. Unable to resist the call of warm weather and beaches, Margie took an entrepreneurial detour to run an ice cream shop in Treasure Island with her husband. Before joining the Catalyst, Margie spent 14 years at the Tampa Bay Business Journal where she wrote about business successes, failures and the exciting world of innovation and start-ups. Her writing coaches are Bonnie the Dog and Coffee the Cat, joined recently by a new edition, Jack the Cat. Margie can be contacted at

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